Sunday 29th April will see our 4th participation in the Pedal on Parliament movement. This year we’ve planned a shorter ride from Rubislaw Terrace gardens, down Union St to the Townhouse where we hope to meet Councillors and other politicians and let them know what we think of the quality of cycle infrastructure in Aberdeen.
For those wanting to stretch their legs a little more, there will also be start from Hazlehead as in PoPs #1 and 2, meeting up with the Rublislaw Terrace riders on the way. For more details visit:
On 31 October, Aberdeen Cycle Forum postponed our normal business meeting to welcome the co-leaders of Aberdeen City Council, Cllrs Jenny Laing and Douglas Lumsden for a question & answer session. The note [here] records the main points covered, but is not a full or agreed minute of the meeting.
In this opinion piece ACF Secretary and part-organiser of the ride reflects on how it went and whether we can do it better next year. [here]
On Saturday 22 April we will have our third successive year of Pedal on Parliament. This year the route has changed and will follow along the beach esplanade, up Beach Boulevard and Justice St to finish at Castlegate. The purpose remains the same – and this year with the local government elections imminent we’re hoping for a big turnout to show that cycling issues matter and more priority for cyclists could result in a better city for everyone. Congestion, air quality, healthy exercise – cycling can tick all the boxes! Please come along and make your voice heard. Start is at 1100 at the north end of the esplanade where it runs parallel to the River Don. Hope to see you there!
A full description of the route can be found here here and a map here. Please note this is an ‘open roads’ ride and is generally suitable for experienced cyclists who are comfortable cycling on city centre streets. The total ride is around 2.2 miles, the first 1.5 of which is traffic-free on a shared-use path. Thereafter beach boulevard has an on-road advisory cycle lane. At the junction with Commerce St there is one busy roundabout to negotiate but there is an option to avoid it by using a traffic-light controlled pedestrian crossing point.
And lastly the boring bit: as responsible ride organisers we have carried out a risk assessment and you can read it here but also don’t forget to have a good time!
Cycling in Aberdeen: Last year under-graduate Chris James produced this great infographic showing the results of survey work he had carried out looking at why people do or don’t cycle in Aberdeen. It’s worth a look and really quick and easy to digest, via the links below.
Infographic page 1
Infographic page 2
Following the opening of the new Third Don Crossing recently we were anxious to see what the long-awaited and purpose-built new cycle path would be like. Unfortunately, its far from perfect. In this opinion piece by two ACF members, they consider what mistakes have been made and how it could have been so much better had just a little more thought gone into the design. Read their critique here.
Aberdeen Cycle Forum conducted its annual cycle count on 17, 18, and 19 May with some data from the new council automatic cycle counters (counter data from 24 May). You can see the full results here.
The count ran from 7:00am to 9:00am. This is the second year of the expanded time frame for the count. Previous to 2015, the count began at 7:30am.
The weather was much better this year than last. While we do not count in rainy conditions, we do not exclude counting under any other types of weather; 2015’s count was conducted in weather that was very cold and overcast while 2016’s count was completed in weather that was merely overcast.
The count numbers are down compared with 2015 – a 120 cyclist drop from last year. However, the count was within 30 of the 2014 count. We’ve also produced a graphic to illustrate the apparent trend – here.
Anecdotally, the city appears to be increasing in cyclist activity – perhaps the common routes for cycling are shifting.
With the installation of the automatic cycle counters, we can look forward to a better understanding of cyclist activity in Aberdeen over a much larger time period than our annual snapshots provide. We hope that this will show cycle modal share to be greater than what we are able to estimate with the cycle count.
Many thanks to the volunteers who gave up their time to count at the various locations.
The Council have currently engaged consultants to look at cross-city transport connections and a drop in session took place on 18 May. There is a particular focus on the various new developments that are taking place or planned for the fringes of the city.
You can see some of the detail of what was presented here and there is an email address that you can send comments in to.
We hope that like many of us here at ACF you are excited about the prospect of our second very own North-East ‘Pedal on Parliament’ ride taking place next Saturday, 23 April, starting from Hazlehead Drive at 12 noon. We will ride gently down to assemble outside Marishcal College where we hope to present our case to various City and Shire Councillors, and possibly some candidate MSPs too.
If you took part in the ride in 2015, the arrangements are just the same. If you are new then you will be especially welcome and we are certainly hoping to exceed the 100+ riders who joined in last year.
If you don’t know the route, a detailed guide is available. But do please remember that the ride is on open roads with no special traffic management in place, so is only likely to be suitable for confident cyclists. Anyone who is unable to join the ride is still very welcome to meet us at Marischal College and add their voice to the campaign.
After the gathering at Marischal, photo opportunities etc a number of us intend to carry on the discussion at 6 Degrees North – a continental-style bar just round the corner on Littlejohn St. They serve food and coffee as well as a fantastic range of craft beers. Unfortunately, due to Licensing restrictions, under 18s are not permitted in the bar.
A risk assessment for the ride is also available should you wish to read it.
Following the success of our ride last year, we are repeating the event – from Hazlehead Park to Marischal College. The route will be via Hazlehead Drive, Queens Road, Albyn Place, Union St and Broad St. The distance is 3 ¼ miles and is slightly downhill. Estimated ride time at a gentle pace is 20 – 30 minutes.
Last year we had 100 riders leaving Hazlehead so this year we are hoping the ride will be even bigger and better!
Please note that this ride takes place on open roads and in normal city center traffic conditions. There are no closed roads or other traffic management. Participants will be responsible for their own behavior and their own safety at all times. Because the route is on busy city center roads, it is likely to be suitable only for cyclists who are familiar and comfortable with cycling in traffic.
The ride will leave Hazlehead Park at 12 noon, arriving at Marischal College by around 1230 where we hope to meet and speak to a number of Councillors from Aberdeen City Council. Assembly point at Hazlehead will be on the running track alongside Hazlehead Drive.
The purpose of the ride is to raise the profile of cycling in Aberdeen. The ride is a peaceful demonstration of our right to ride. We do not intend to cause any unnecessary disruption to traffic or disobey the rules of the road. Please respect this!
The route does cross busy roundabouts including Anderson Drive at Queens Road. At this and other roundabouts, less confident riders should be able to dismount and use pedestrian crossings, rejoining the ride after the junction. It is also proposed that riders who wish to miss out all the roundabouts could instead assemble on Albyn Place / Rubislaw Terrace Gardens, and join the ride there (1215). Anyone else wishing to show support but unable to join the ride is very welcome to meet the riders at Marischal College (1230).
Please note that no food or drink will be provided. There are toilets available at Hazlehead Park and at various locations near the arrival point in the city centre. Remember to dress appropriately for the weather and for cycling. You may wish to consider wearing a cycle helmet and brightly coloured / high visibility clothing, but these are not compulsory.
When assembling in front of Marischal College we have been asked by Aberdeen City Council to be aware of the need to respect the environment and the needs of others. Please ensure that the pavement is not obstructed to pedestrians or passers- by who are not involved in the ride, and please do not park your bicycle against the building or statue plinth. We hope to see you there on the 23rd!