safer for cycling to build on Tour de France fever
AS Britain gets set to host
the 1st stage of the Tour de France - with the 'Grand Départ'
from Yorkshire soon underway, a survey of over 1,000 young people
published by Brake and the insurer RSA Group has found some teen and
parental angst about taking to 2 wheels. The survey also reveals
that most teenagers don't pay much attention to the safest routes
for cycling or walking.
Both organisations are calling for action from national and local
government to improve cycling in our Towns and Cities.
The survey's key findings are:-
► 42% would like to be able to start cycling or cycle more.
Of those who want to start cycling
or cycle more, 39% say lack of safe routes is a factor.
46% say their parents would worry
about them cycling.
32% say they would feel nervous
cycling on local roads.
Only 9% cycle weekly or more.
23% never cycle.
70% don't consider what the safest
route to use is for walking and cycling.
Brake said that introducing 20mph limits around homes, schools and
shops, alongside improvements to existing road design would help
produce more safe cycling routes to deliver a legacy of healthy,
active, green communities where everyone can cycle and walk without
being endangered. They are also calling on drivers everywhere to do
their bit to make roads safer, by slowing down, giving space to
cyclists and looking out for people on bike and foot.
Brake is part of GO 20, a coalition of 17 charities and
organisations calling for: more local authorities to implement 20mph
limits across towns, cities and villages; the government to work
towards 20mph being the norm in all our communities; and drivers to
pledge to GO 20 around homes, schools and shops.
Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive at Brake, says:-
"Bringing 'Le Tour' to our home county of Yorkshire is a
great coup for the region and the rest of the UK, but this survey
shows that young people who want to cycle more are wary of doing so.
We have a long way to go before the UK's streets are truly
cyclist-friendly. It remains that fast traffic and inadequate safe
routes have a major impact on people's ability to choose and enjoy
cycling. We believe everyone should be able to cycle or walk in
their community or to get to work or school without fear or threat.
Anyone who drives can help bring this about: pledge to GO 20 around
homes, schools and shops, and take great care to look out for
cyclists and pedestrians this summer and year-round. We're also
appealing to more authorities to recognise the huge demand for safe
walking and cycling, and enormous benefits of widespread 20mph
limits and safe routes, and GO 20."
Peter Collins, head of corporate responsibility for RSA, says:-
"In a year when the Tour de France starts in the UK with a
current British champion it's sad to see that so many of our teens
are put off cycling by safety fears. Not only is cycling good for
health; there are also environmental benefits - but safety is
paramount and that's why initiatives like 'GO 20' are so important."
Did you know that:-
► Fewer casualties:- at 20, drivers have much more time to react
and stop in time if they need to. Studies show when 20 limits
replace 30, it means fewer casualties among pedestrians and
► More walking and cycling:- danger from traffic is a major
barrier in enabling more people to walk and cycle. Town and
city-wide 20 limits have resulted in more people walking and
► Healthier, happier people:- More walking and cycling means
healthier people, and more enjoyable outdoors activity for kids and
adults. It helps communities interact and be communities.
► Less pollution:- GOing 20 means lower emissions from vehicle
journeys. Plus if more people can switch their commute or school run
to foot or bike, it means less polluting traffic.
► Lower costs: Poor health from inactivity costs society
dearly. Road casualties cost even more, due to the suffering and
burden on health and emergency services. Preventing casualties and
improving health means GOing 20 pays for itself many times over. It
also helps people save money by choosing the cheapest ways to get
about: foot and bike.
This survey supports findings from 12 months ago, when Brake
surveyed 1,000 cyclists. It revealed that 88% thought traffic was
too fast on roads in their area and an overwhelming 98% said more
should be done to make local streets safer for cyclists and
celebrates greener gardening with easyGrow
Liberal Democrat MP Dr John Pugh who represents Southport attended a
Parliamentary reception this week hosted by the UK's largest garden
He was present at the briefing which highlighted the many eco
benefits of B&Q's revolutionary new gardening product, easyGrow™.
Launched in April, easyGrow™ with Teabag Technology™ offers a new
concept in the packaging, sale and planting of bedding plants, and
has completely replaced the need for polystyrene packaging.
The move is good news for gardeners in the Southport area who buy in
the region of 8,369 plants from their local B&Q every summer,
normally generating 30.8 cubic metres of polystyrene waste. This is
one of a long line of firsts from B&Q designed to make gardening and
home improvement projects hassle-free, low on waste and kinder to
Consisting of a self contained biodegradable 'teabag' made
from corn starch, easyGrow™is not only completely compostable but
also 95% to 99% peat free. Peat free gardening has been welcomed by a
host of conservation groups, including the RSPB, who have credited
B&Q with helping to ease pressure on lowland peat bogs which are
home to a variety of plant and wildlife. Peat extraction is also a
significant source of carbon emissions, releasing around 1.25 million
tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.
Sam Mason, manager of the nearby Southport store, said:-
"We're delighted that John Pugh has witnessed first hand the
innovative benefits of easyGrow™. We're very proud of the range, and
since it arrived in store three months ago we've had incredible
feedback from customers who love the fact that they can grow
beautiful plants and flowers more easily, help reduce the amount of
residual waste they produce and reduce the UK's overall reliance on
peat products. We're nearing the end of the season for planting
Summer bedding plants and in the coming weeks, customers will be
spending more and more time relaxing in their gardens and outdoor
spaces, appreciating and tending to their easyGrow™ plants and
As well as being a more sustainable product, each easyGrow™ 'teabag'
protects the plant roots and makes bedding plants easy to handle
with less chance of damage to fragile roots. Users can simply remove
the plant from the tray and pop the plant straight into the soil.
B&Qs range of Autumn bedding plants packaged in easyGrow™ with
Teabag Technology™ will be in store from the end of July.
Poets v Writers
THE Great British Write Off
released their final Poets v Writers video; which is packed full of
behind the scenes, hilarious out takes! By demand the deadline for
the competition has been extended to 25 July 2014.
Since the 9 June 2014, The Great British Write Off have released a further
5 Poets vs Writers Challenges, #GBWO judges Mark Grist and Mixy
compete in:- The Word Association Challenge, The Foam Wrestle
Challenge, The Sumo Wrestle Challenge, The Pugil Stick Challenge and
Innuendo Bingo Rhyming Edition.
Morgan Walton, Director said:- "We drew inspiration from staff
suggestions on their literary idols and wondered how would these
famous poets and writers compete in the 21st Century, where the
Internet, celebrity, adverts and gimmicks seem to tell us actions
speak louder than words, and so The Great British Head to Head
Challenges were born!"
The Great British Write Off is an exciting competition for poets and
writers, and run by Forward Poetry.
1 lucky winner will win every
penny in the prize fund, which increases every time a new entry is
The prize fund is currently at £1,300!
Whether you are new to writing or have a huge portfolio of work, The
Great British Write Off is a fun, free opportunity to share your
work, get published and even win a prize.
Simply pick 1 original
piece you've written; a poem, mini saga or a short story or novel
extract and enter online, by email or post by Friday, 25 July 2014.
Don't worry, you won't need a gimmick for your work, we know great
writing doesn't need one; all it needs is an audience, and The
Great British Write Off can certainly help with that.
For the current prize fund, to enter and much, much more visit:-