The Anonymous Widower

Do We Need More Bikes Like This?

When I moved back to London in 2010, bikes like this were rare!

Now, you see various bikes every day delivering bread, children, dogd and parcels in the City and East End of London.

It swhould be noted that in a circle of two to three miles from Bank, London is fairly flat and ideal cycling terrain.

But we still need more!

Have we got enough people, prepared to ride them?

September 9, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Uberst

I took this picture yesterday.

I should say, the tyre is only flat at the bottom!

July 9, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , | 2 Comments

Plans Shown Off For A Bridge Across The Thames At The Barrier

The title of this post is the same as that of an article on IanVisits.

This Google Map shows the location of the Thames Barrier.

Note the City Airport to the North and Charlton to the South.

I think it could be a valuable link for pedestrians and cyclists.

The Northern End

The Northern end of the bridge would be a pleasant five-minute stroll through Thames Barrier Park to the Pontoon Dock DLR station, as this Google Map shows.

Note that there is a cafe in the park.

The Southern End

What would happen at the Southern end of the bridge is less clear, as this Google Map shows.

The Thames Barrier is visible at the top of this map.

Could a network of cycle and walking routes be created between Maryon Park and the bridge?

These could also extend East to Charlton station and The Valley and West to Woolwich Dockyard station, which is just on the map.

Conclusion

I think it could be a valuable link for pedestrians and cyclists, through a new cross-river park.

 

 

June 4, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Saddle Up Says Bank, As It Slashes Staff Parking

The title of this post, is the same as that of an article on Page 12 of today’s Sunday Times.

This is the precis.

HSBC is swapping spaces for bike racks to persuade workers to drive less, and to discover why Britons refuse to pedal.

It’s an interesting position to take.

And I agree with it! Especially, if offices have good public transport connections.

June 2, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | 2 Comments

Bicycles And Class 800 Trains

I was at Paddington station this morning, having breakfast in Leon.

Afterwards, I noticed that Great Western Railway were using a nine-car Class 800 train on the 10:52 to Oxford.

I also noticed from the information displays, that all bicycles needed to be booked. That is a bit different from the days of the InterCity 125s, which had lots of space in the back of the locomotive.

On one trip to Plymouth, I saw several surfboards swallowed by the locomotive.

I got in a conversation with a station guy about bicycles and surfboards and from the knowing look on his face, I suspect it is a bit of a pain.

With the growing popularity of cycling, surely a turn up and go regime is needed.

March 16, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | 1 Comment

A Tale Of Two Cities

This article in the Evening Standard is entitled Traffic Will Be Banned From Three Roads Leading To Bank Junction Following Cyclists’s Death.

  • Priority will be given to pedestrians and cyclists at Bank Junction in the City of London.
  • The works will be completed before the works at Bank station are completed in 2022.
  • There may be a street market in front of the Bank of England.
  • The taxi drivers don’t like it.

Compare this to the attitude of London’s other city;Westminster, which has recently, gone against the pedestrianisation of part of Oxford Street and the extension of a Cycle Superhighway.

February 13, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 2 Comments

ScotRail Finds A Use For The Unloved Class 153 Trains

Class 153 trains are the unloved members of British Rail’s Sprinter family. I occasionally use one on excursions to Felixstowe, but they are cramped, noisy and slow.

As the pictures show, some are not in bad condition and to be fair, some train operators have tried hard to provide a better level of service.

Greater Anglia still has five Class 153 trains in service and the fact that they will be replaced by three-car Class 755 trains by the end of 2020. You don’t increase capacity by that amount, unless the current one-car trains are overcrowded or you know that there is a lot of untapped demand on the route.

If on the Felixstowe Branch, a doubling of capacity would have been sufficient, then surely a refurbished two-car Class 150, 156 or 170 train, would have been a more than adequate replacement.

Currently, there are seventy of these trains in service and many of them, like those in East Anglia are being replaced with new or refurbished trains.

Greater Anglia’s five units are going to Wales, where they will join another eight on rural lines in West Wales. Nothing has ben said about how they will be used, but they could be used singly, in pairs or in multiple with Class 15x or Class 17x trains.

So they could be useful to the Welsh in providing extra capacity.

In the November 2018 Edition of Modern Railways, Alex Hynes of ScotRail talks about how a number of Class 153 trains will be used to add bicycle space to trains on some of Scotland’s scenic routes. Alex Hynes is quoted as saying.

The interior format is yet to be fixed, but is likely to include a large amount of space given over to bicycles. Bike tourism is a growing area and the aim would be to allay fears about whether or not you’d get your bike on a train by providing plenty of space. Part of the vehicle might be given over to a lounge car layout to make the most of the magnificent views on these routes.

Transport Scotland sees the scenic routes as a key part of the rural economy for the part they play in stimulating tourism.

Our inspiration is to get “158s” on the West Highland route.

So it looks like ScotRail could be running Class 158/Class 153 pairs to provide increased capacity on the West Highland Line.

Wikipedia says this about the use of the Class 153 trains on the West Highland Line.

These single car units are to be completely adapted to accommodate bikes, skis and other outdoor equipment.

They will be attached to the Class 156s either as centre cars, or as extra coaches at either end.

If ScotRail’s scheme is a success, I suspect more of the Class 153 trains could end up doing the same task, in Wales, the South West and North of England.

It should also be noted, with respect to bicycle tourism, that ScotRail’s shortened HSTs will hopefully retain their bicycle swallowing abilities in the back ends of the power cars, thus enabling bicycle tourists to do the longer Scottish journeys with ease.

My one worry about bicycle tourism in Scotland and Wales is not concerned with trains internally, but with getting there from other parts of the UK with a heavily-loaded bicycle.

With the replacement of the HSTs and InterCity 225 from the London to Edinburgh and London to Wales and the West routes, will the new Class 800 trains have enough bicycle capacity? The bicycle storage on these trains look to be a good design for a racing bicycle, but some of the heavily-loaded bicycle tourists I’ve seen in Suffolk, would find them inadequate.

This article in The Guardian is entitled New High-Speed Trains Go Slow On Provision For Cyclists.

The article is critical.

I wonder what provision has been made for bicycles on the new rolling stock for the Caledonian Sleeper?

 

 

October 26, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 2 Comments

Clean Drivers To Sport Green Numberplates

The title of this post is the same as that as an article on page 11 of today’s Sunday Times.

The first paragraph gives a few more details.

Electric and hydrogen-powered cars, vans and taxis may be awarded green numberplates in a public display of virtue.Chris Grayling, the transport secretary, said giving clean vehicles a “green badge of honour” was a “brilliant way of helping increase awareness” ans “might just encourage people to think about” getting one themselves.

I think it’s a good idea and apparently Norway, Canada and China have green plates.

I like it as it would be easier to spot a battery taxi, which are so much nicer than the older models.

Jesse Norman, a junior Government minister is also thinking about tax breaks for e-Bikes and for ecargobikes for “last mile” deliveries.

September 9, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Walk Through London’s First Pedestrian And Cycle Zone

I took these pictures as I walked through London’s first Pedestrian and Cycle Zone, wher only electric vehicles and some hybrids are allowed.

I like the idea, although quite a few diesel and petrol cars and vans seem to have been ignoring the signs.

I was even interviewed by television. But it was Sistema Brasileiro de Televisão, so I doubt I’ll find it on the iPlayer.

Will subtitles make me look better?

September 4, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Brompton’s Electric Bicycle

Brompton were promoting their new electric bicycle at Kings Cross.

It looks a neat front wheel drive, pedal-assisted design.

At nearly £3,000, it would only be a bike for a serious commuter. Although, I suspect many will buy one to potter around their local area.

What I found interesting was that the battery weighs three kilograms and has a capacity of 0.3 kWh.

This energy density is very much in line with the most efficient, large traction batteries in road vehicles, trains and trams.

 

August 17, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , | 1 Comment