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Roads to Nowhere

Dynamo: Lancaster and District Cycle Campaign

Photo: cycling in Lancaster

Area: Lancashire
Interests: Cycling

Dynamo's vision

We have a vision of Lancaster district as a friendlier and healthier place where most local journeys are made by bike and on foot; cycling and walking are prioritised, road users show each other care and respect, and excellent infrastructure helps people of all ages to travel easily, safely and sustainably.

Specifically, we aim for:

  • More journeys being taken by bike; others are encouraged to cycle, so cycling becomes a normal choice
  • Road users obeying traffic laws, including speed limits
  • Council officers and councillors facilitating safe local travel by foot and by bike when making planning decisions
  • Road design minimising conflict between motorised vehicles, cyclists and walkers: journeys feel safer and are safer
  • The council providing an expanded network of cycle routes and links between them

The Dynamo committee meets every 4-6 weeks and members are welcome to attend. Contact us for details.

Contact: Patricia Clarke, membership secretary
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Dynamo blog

Latest news

February 2014: Dynamo is currently focusing on two campaigns.
1) Since 2012 we have been pressing Lancashire County Council for high quality, continuous cycle provision along the A6 south of Lancaster city centre to Lancaster University and Galgate. The campaign continues.
2) Dynamo has identified an off-road route linking up existing paths between Lancaster and Heysham as an alternative to the unpleasant and indirect road route, and we are lobbying for this.

October 2013: Here is the latest newsletter from Dynamo.

February 2010: Meeting on Thursday 25 February to press for a Lancaster district 20 mph speed limit

This meeting is to plan a campaign for a general 20 mph speed limit throughout Lancaster district. It will take place on Thursday 25 February 2010 at 7.30 p.m. in the lecture theatre at the Storey Institute, Lancaster.

The arguments in favour of a district-wide lower speed limit were clearly set out by Rod King of the national 20’s Plenty campaign at a recent meeting at the Institute. These include:

  • More than half of road deaths and serious injuries occur on roads with 30 mph limits. The chances of a pedestrian surviving a collision at 20 mph are 97%; by 35 mph (the speed that the police generally allow as a “margin of error”) 50% of pedestrians will lose their lives.
  • Compared with the rest of Europe, a disproportionate number of British road fatalities are children.
  • Britain has one of the lowest levels of children walking or cycling to school in Europe, with consequent impacts on their fitness levels and independence.
  • High traffic speeds are often cited as the chief reason for deterring people from walking or cycling.
  • Lowering urban and residential speed limits to 20 mph has been found to increase a 15-minute car journey by just 60 seconds.

The beauty of a district-wide 20 mph limit is that little extra infrastructure is needed (so is relatively affordable for the local authority), and the benefits of such a limit are enjoyed by all residents including local drivers, who would themselves live in quieter and calmer roads.

This is not a pie-in-the-sky campaign: surveys indicate that 80% of the public and 75% of drivers support 20 mph as a speed limit on residential streets; the Department for Transport is positive about 20 mph limits; and Portsmouth, Oxford, Norwich and Islington have already introduced its own district-wide limit. Their findings in Portsmouth’s first year of operation include

  • a reduction in causalities by 15%
  • a reduction in speeds by 7 mph on faster roads

and other local authorities are following their lead.

The meeting on 25 February is to draw together a community-wide group of interested people who wish either to become actively involved in the campaign or join a mailing list to keep up to date with developments. We are approaching local schools, youth organisations, councillors, cycling and walking organisations, health and care authorities and other local groups. Although people involved in Dynamo have been involved in setting up the meeting, we firmly believe that the benefits of a district-wide 20 mph speed limit would embrace the whole community – and particularly its youngest and most vulnerable members.

Find out more about the national 20’s Plenty campaign.

Read the latest newsletter (pdf 460kb).

November 2009: Dynamo is currently part of initial moves to get a default 20mph speed limit introduced across the Lancaster district. Dynamo strongly supports this as it would undoubtedly make the roads feel - and even be! - safer for cyclists. However, it's not only cyclists who would favour it - it would also benefit pedestrians, reduce noise pollution, and encourage more walking and cycling amongst everyone. It is therefore a community-based initiative that would make our district a safer and pleasanter place for everyone.