Friday 9 January 2009

Portsmouth: Cycle Town

While contributor "mnpinkfloyd" appears to have spent xmas in Amsterdam, another contributor got to spend the week at the jewel on the south coast, Portsmouth -to be precise, its seaside resort, Southsea.

This part of the city has embraced the "Portsmouth Cycling Town" idea, with its logo of a bicycle surrounded by a red ring proudly displayed on every lamp post down the sea front.

And being good citizens, the locals carry their bikes instead.

What makes Portsmouth a good candidate for a cycling town? Is it the population density (high); the geography (flat, no good leisure cycling). No, it is something it has in common with Bristol. FirstBus providing the bus service

Or in this case, providing nine buses a week. This shared absence of anything resembling public transport is a compelling reason why both Bristol and Portsmouth have embraced cycling.


Dru Marland said...

I used to live in Porsmuff, so I was interested to see what they've been getting up to.

Not much, apparently.

Hardly any cycle lanes there, just 'cycle routes'. They came up with an apparently pretty identical system of routes something like thirty years ago; the idea that you could get from one end of the city to the other by using back streets which remained normal routes for cars too. As one Portsmuff street looks pretty much like another, this was and is a terminally dull way of making progress, so no-one used them, preferring (like me) to use the main roads where the shops and pubs and Interesting Stuff are.

Anonymous said...

There will be more to follow. if you care to email bristol.traffic at our address, then you'll get to see the more reasoned analysis. They've done some good things along albert street, but kept the limit there to 30mph which just creates confusion.

Chris Hutt said...

Good point by Dru. People want to cycle along the principal streets of a city, not some obscure back street. It's also important that cyclists are seen taking their place in the city's most important thoroughfares if cycling is to be promoted. So 20 mph zones that do not include the main arteries are of little benefit to cyclists.

Anonymous said...

Other problems with the 30/20 split:

* confusion: drivers don't know which speed to go
* late deceleration. You don't hit the brakes entering a 20 zone, you slow down gradually
* more acceleration on entering a fast zone = fuel waste
* cars turn from a 30 zone into 20 mph side streets at classic speeds, not helping pedestrian safety