New multi-million pound cycle lane used as a car park

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The new 29 million pound CityConnect cycle superhighway that links Leeds to Bradford is being used as a car park by inconsiderate motorists.

Motorist parking on Bradford’s brand new cycle route have been condemned for their actions of blatantly blocking the new cycle superhighway with their vehicles despite the fact that the cycle route is not officially open yet.

The flagship 23k City Connect cycle superhighway, dubbed as the ‘highway to health’ when it was announced, links up Bradford and Leeds with a segregated lane that runs from east Leeds to the Broadway Shopping Centre in Bradford city centre.

Local residents as well as local councillors claim claim the route has been reduced to little more than an expensive car park despite it being a clearly-marked mandatory cycle lane. On the two-lane track in Dick Lane, Thornbury, and at other locations in Bradford Moor, motorists have been parking their cars, much to the annoyance of locals.

The first CS1 stretch of the superhighway between Leeds and Bradford will be officially opened in the week beginning 20th June, followed by the second stage, CS2, that runs between Seacroft and Leeds during July this year.

With the official opening of the route fast approaching, CityConnect are working with traffic enforcement teams from both cities and will be embarking on a parking crackdown along the route before the opening. Local residents who have voiced concerns over the parking will be glad to hear that the illegal parking will be addressed very soon.

John Day, resident of Dick Lane, Thornbury, told local press, “They would not leave their car in the first lane of a motorway? Bradford Council need to enforce penalty notices for parking on it. Drivers are breaching it all of the time. They are just not respectful at all. It’s dangerous. I’m worried about an accident. What’s the purpose of it? It’s just annoying. It is defeating the purpose. It is clearly for a cycle lane.”

Mr Day went on to comment further: “There are a few cars doing it every day. There are double yellow lines down there so people are parking on the cycle lane. It’s a bike lane for bikes, not a parking bay to leave your car.”

CityConnect became aware of people using the cycle route as a parking area and understand how frustrated local residents have become. The company will be installing no parking signs along the lanes shortly, followed by other enforcements to deter motorist from using the route to park their cars.

The £29m superhighway has been jointly funded by the Department for Transport, Bradford and Leeds councils and transport authority Metro. Two highway traffic authorities will be enforcing the new ‘no-parking’ restrictions once the signage is in place and will notify local residents and businesses before enforcement will start so they have plenty of notice to cease parking on the cycle route.

A CityConnect spokesman said “We will be publicising a date to begin enforcement as soon as possible.”

Campaigners put pressure on London mayoral candidates over extending cycle routes

London cycle route campaigners are worried that when Boris Johnson leaves office in May, there may be a halt to the plans for the 38 miles of protected Cycle Superhighway in London.

What pressure groups are seeking to do is to encourage the next Mayor to carry on with the plans to triple London’s bike routes to accommodate demand. The capital’s biggest cycling pressure group, London Cycling Campaign, is seeking to get all mayoral candidates to sign its pledge to improve cycling infrastructure and air quality, and push hauliers to make lorries safer to prevent accidents.

Cycle journey figures went up by about 10% between 2013 and 2014, with an average of 645,000 journeys being taken every day during 2014 alone. Surveys conducted by the LCC have shown that more Londoners would like to cycle around the capital, but feel it is still to unsafe to do so. Currently, anyone choosing to cycle will have to navigate a busy main road for part of their journey.

If the cycle route improvement plans continue to go ahead at their present rate, and the level of investment is kept up for the next four years while the next mayor is in office, it is thought that there should be triple the amount of cycling space. giving more people the chance to get around the city safely on protected routes.

In May this year when Boris Johnson leaves office, there will be around 38 miles of protected Cycle Superhighway in London. The LCC wants to see a commitment from the next mayor for the plans to continue to provide nearly 80 extra miles of protected cycle route around the city. Pledges are already in from Lib-Dem candidate Caroline Pidgeon and Green Party candidate Sian Berry who have already put their names to the Sign for Cycling petition.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for other party candidates, including Labour’s Sadiq Khan and Tory Zac Goldsmith, who so far have not pledged their support. However, Mr Goldsmith has announced his cycling manifesto that promises to guarantee new “quietways” and Cycle Superhighways — but only with careful consultation with residents.

Looking into the near future, the LCC have envisaged creating “Mini Hollands” within each of the 32 London borough as well as within the Square Mile. These areas would all link up into a network of safe cycle routes covering both the capital and suburban areas of London. To encourage residents to take to their bikes, mini-Holland funding has been given to Enfield, Kingston and Waltham Forest. These are the first London boroughs to receive this funding so far.

A tripling of the cycle routes in and around London will certainly impact positively on the pollution levels, and will help the population changes that London faces, as well as improve health. Having safe cycling routes networking the city will make more residents question whether driving is the most efficient way of getting Londoners to their destinations.

As well as increasing the cycle routes over the next four years, the LCC will also be looking at calling on councils to provide more secure parking spaces for cycles. Many potential cyclists may be put off using the cycle routes if they are not able to park their bike safely while at work or when visiting the city.

Cycling On Your Commute Could Extend Your Life

A recent study that looked at 150,000 British adults between the ages of 40 and 69, and compared the health between cyclists with motorists, suggests that swapping your car for a cycle during your daily commute to work can bring considerable health benefits.

Skipping your car journey in favour of your bike can help to extend your life as well as reduce your waistline! Even walking or taking public transport to work can help to improve your health over commuting in the car.

The new research discovered that the average male cyclist weighed in at up to 5kg (11lbs) less than men who drove their car to work. The figures were just as impressive for females too with women who cycled being 4.4kg (9.7lbs) lighter than the average female car driver in the same age range.

One of the main benefits of the cycling group over the car drivers was the lower body fat levels, with male bikers having on average 2.75% less than those who took the car, and women 3.26% less.

The study involving 150,000 adults was conducted by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, who also discovered that drivers were more likely to have a higher Body Mass Index than cyclists according to their data. The study has been published in the Lancet.

Dr Ellen Flint, Lead Scientist at the School, commented: “Many people live too far from their workplace for walking or cycling to be feasible, but even the incidental physical activity involved in public transport can have an important effect.”

In the UK, of the 23.7 million people who commute to work, two-thirds will take the car, and in England alone two-thirds of adults do not meet the recommended levels of physical activity for their age.

What was really eye-opening about the study was that only 4% of men and 2% of women cycled during their commute – or combined cycling with walking. That is a small amount of a very large study group!

Dr Flint went on to say: “Encouraging public transport and active commuting, especially for those in mid-life when obesity becomes an increasing problem, could be an important part of the global policy response to population-level obesity prevention.”

The study has certainly hit the headlines since the results were released. All the major news channels picked up the story and reported on it with a range of attention grabbing headlines such as, “Get on your bike to lose weight, commuters told,” (ITV news) and “Skipping Car On Commute Could Extend Your Life,” (Sky TV). Whatever the headline, the message they are getting across is loud and clear: motorists are likely to be driving themselves to an early grave because of their sedentary travel habits.

With improved cycle routes being planned in major towns and cities across the country, and the obvious benefits of ditching the car for commutes, isn’t it time you got on your bike?. Check out the range of cycles ProRider has to offer.

Opening Date Finally Announced for London Cycle super-route

The London-based cycle superhighway project that is part of a £47millon flagship to develop crossrail routes for cyclists, has finally been given an expected opening date for May 2016.

London Mayor, Boris Johnson, announced to the press that “the end is now in sight”, after motorists have endured months of traffic disruption an delays while the cycle route has been under construction. The 12 miles of route between Westminster ad Barking will open on 30th April, with the western section between Parliament Square and Paddington via Hyde Park expected to be open after Boris Johnson has left his official office in May this year.

There is further consultation taking place at the moment discussing extending the cycle route from Paddington to Acton via the A40 Westway flyover. However, any further construction on the cycle super-route will have to get the backing of the next Mayor before it could go ahead.

Despite the welcome of the cycle route construction by many supporters, there have been many motorists who lodged complaints about journey delays being caused by the works. Most notable amongst the complainers has been Lord Sugar, who voiced his concerns over the new road layout on the Embankment to accommodate the riverside segregated two-way lane.

Mr Johnson said that back in 2013, many people doubted the cycle route would ever happen, but despite a noisy minority of protestors that tried to stop it from going ahead, he forged ahead with the plans to help deliver a cleaner, safer and greener city. Opinion polls and public consultations at the time showed that a large majority of Londoners were in favour of the scheme, and this was from a mix of cyclist, motorists and pedestrians.

In an announcement to the press, Mr Johnson said “I apologise to motorists temporarily inconvenienced by the construction works on the Embankment, and I thank them for their patience in putting up with it – but the end is now in sight.”

Part of the redevelopment work that was opened in November last year has already seen a 73 per cent increase in the number of cyclists crossing Vauxhall bridge. The new segregated superhighway has seen vehicle journeys taking the same time or being slightly quicker than before the new lanes were put in place. Journey times for motor vehicles on all but one of the six main roads into Vauxhall are back to what they were before the work started.

Transport for London stated that 3,394 cyclists used the Vauxhall bridge between 7am-10am and 4pm-7pm each weekday last month. This is a greatly increased number when compared with just 1,967 users for the same time period in February last year.

Once opened in it’s entirety, the route will be the longest substantially segregated bike route in a European city. After the next section opens on 30 April, cyclists will be able to travel from Westminster to Blackfriars, the City, Tower Hill, Canary Wharf and Barking on either tracks separated from vehicles or on low-traffic streets, a distance of just under 12 miles.

New Cycle Lanes Plans Revealed For Around St Pancras Station

Under proposals for the improvement of road safety around St Pancras station, Camden Council has launched a public consultation into plans to extend the existing cycle path that leads from Pancras Road south into Midland Road and Euston Road. The public consultation will run until 20th March.

The area around the station contain some very busy roads, so to further improve the safety of all commuters, passengers and pedestrians, new plans have been unveiled for the cycle route that includes a new pedestrian crossing and segregated cycle track that would also be built in Euston Road. The proposed changes to the existing layout will see a ban on motorists entering and exiting the road via Judd Street to make the new plans possible.

An alternative plan is to allow motorists to enter Judd Street from Midland Road only, with a separate contraflow track put in place for cyclists. Camden Council plan to create segregated cycle lanes in Midland Road, remove the traffic island from outside St Pancras station as well as build a raised pedestrian crossing.

Working in partnership with Transport for London, the council plans for the cycle path changes are part of the ‘Central London Cycle Grid’ which is a network of cycle routes designed to make cycling around the city safer. According to Transport for London (TfL) the only downside to the new plans would mean longer journey times for motorists using the area, with some needing to plan alternative routes to bypass the area where possible if they are not intent on visiting the area.

There has to be a balance between servicing motorists, cyclists and pedestrians, so the plans have been devised to minimise the impact on Euston Road traffic, while at the same time provide adequate provision of time and space to allow safe passage for cyclists and pedestrians.

It is thought the changes to the road layout will mean some slight increases in journey times, and longer queuing for traffic during busy times, particularly when travelling eastbound on Euston Road and exiting Midland Road heading west.

The new cycle road layout will be a continuation of the roll out of the Central London Cycle Grid, a scheme launched in 2013 by the Mayor of London to create a network of cycle routes through Central London, with the main idea being to make it safer for the increasing number of cyclist on the streets, as well as a more attractive route for pedestrians to choose to navigate the city.

The plans will see an extension to the protected cycle route to link up Royal College Street to the north to Kentish Town and to the south to Kings Cross, providing a safe and continuous protected cycle route. Currently, Pancras Road is a two-way street with no cycle lanes except for two short sections that provide access into Goldington Crescent and Midland Road.

Camden Council developed the plans as part of a proposal to make Pancras Road safer and more attractive for all users. The public consultation is open until 20th March for local residents and business owners to voice their opinions on the new plans.

It is thought that many people will welcome the plans because they may help to address some safety concerns that have built up in the area. There have been 7 reported accidents on Pancras Road within a 3 year period up until February 2014; six slight accidents and one serious. Four of the accidents involved cyclists or pedestrians and one involved a motorcyclist.

The Scientific Way To Lose Weight Proves To Be Gruelling

Everyone is in search of the ‘holy grail’ for staying slim and fit, and will try every diet and exercise fad going to try and achieve their goals apotheke viagra ohne rezept. In an effort to get to the bottom of the health and fitness conundrum, scientists have conducted tests for many years to try and give us the answers.

What scientists have discovered is an effective way for people to lose weight while retaining or gaining lean muscle, but it does come at a price. In this world you never get something for nothing, so achieving your optimal goals of having low body fat with lean muscles means you have to go through quite a gruelling process to succeed.

Diet basics
Basically, according to the latest scientific research, we need to follow a low calorie, high protein diet while at the same time exercising regularly over a period of six days per week. Tests have already proven that people eating a high protein diet will lose more body fat than those following a low protein diet, however those on a high protein diet will hold onto or even gain muscle.

Research coming out of McMaster University has shown that following a ‘gruelling’ low calorie, high protein diet, as well as combining their healthy eating with a strict exercise regime, will help people to lose weight and retain more muscle. Study participants following the scientific regime showed greater levels of weight loss ad muscle retention than those following other combinations of diet and exercise plans.

Fitting in exercise
The other crucial component to combine with a low calorie, high protein diet was intense exercise. This is the part that appears to be the most gruelling aspect of the whole regime because it requires participants to exercise six days per week. Adding in exercise resulted in test subjects losing more weight and gaining more muscle than those following a low calorie, high protein diet alone.

The study was conducted on 40 young men, divided into two test groups, over a period of one month of strict exercise and diet, cutting their normal calorific intake by a whopping 40% while following a demanding six-days-a-week exercise routine. The test subjects entered the study while not in the best of shape, and the main reason behind the study was to find out how quickly they could get them into shape by improving their strength and fitness, while losing weight and gaining muscle.

The workouts that the test subjects were put through consisted of:
Full-body resistance exercise circuit, two days a week
High-intensity interval training and sprint interval training, two days a week
Plyometric body weight circuit
30 minutes a week on a cycle ergometer

While both groups of test participants were put on a low calorie diet, the group that had a higher level of protein within their diet achieved the best results with muscle gains of an average 2.5 pounds, despite consuming 40% less calories than what is considered normal for their age and sex.
The group without the higher level of protein in their low calorie diet didn’t add muscle at all, but managed to maintain existing levels within the body. This shows that performing exercise while losing weight can help your body to hold on to it’s lean muscle.

All of the participants were much stronger and fitter at the end of the study, and the team of scientists hope to conduct a follow-up test on women to compare the results. The study was published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Reasons why your New Year weight loss plan might be failing

One of your New Year resolutions may have been to lose weight this year through regular exercise and healthy eating. However, your exercise routine may not be the best way to lose weight after all!

According to advice given by Dr Corneel Vandelanotte, a physical activity and health researcher at Central Queensland University, weight loss is determined only to a small extent by exercise. He claims that people would need to do five hours of moderate activity per week to lose weight, and that body weight is mostly determined by what we eat and our metabolism.

At this time of year many of us take to pounding away for hours on the treadmill, quite often for little or no noticeable results. This can very often lead to frustration when we don’t see our weight loss efforts working. But we may be making mistakes with our exercise routine that could actually hamper our efforts instead of actually helping them.

Dr Corneel Vandelanotte, commented while writing for The Conversation, that our weight is determined only to a small extent by how active we are – and so losing weight through exercise alone is very hard work.

Despite the doom and gloom hidden within his message, there are actually positive ways of working out that can actually help us become healthier in general, and that by taking regular exercise even overweight individuals can greatly reduce their risk of heart disease and diabetes. This has to be worth the effort alone, and you don’t even need to work out intensely to get these benefits.

Dr Vandelanotte went on to give information that busts some common exercise-related myths:

Myth 1: Exercise is the best way to lose weight
Taking part in regular exercise does help your to lose weight, but it is one of the hardest ways to go about it if this is your primary goal. Our weight is more influenced by our energy balance, so what we eat and drink and our metabolic rate are our main factors. Trying to lose weight by exercise alone will be extremely hard work unless you address your diet.

Myth 2: You can’t be fat and fit
You may be at your ideal weight, but that doesn’t mean you are fit. When you are not regularly active you are at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, some cancers, depression and anxiety.

Despite what you have been told to believe, you can still be metabolically healthy while being overweight, but only if you’re regularly active. You don’t need to do intense exercise to see gains – studies show moderate activity is just as beneficial for your health.

Myth 3: No pain, no gain
Years ago anyone who was active on the gym scene would have heard this saying over and over again viagra dosis. No pain, no gain can really mean ‘no suffering, no weight loss’, but you will need to do a lot of intense and regular exercise to see results from exercise alone.

Moderate intensity physical activity can give you the same results. This is the level of exertion that makes you breathe harder, but you should still be able to carry on a conversation, such as when brisk walking, or riding a bike at a steady pace. Moderate intensity physical activity should not be painful and does not include unnecessary suffering to meet your goals.

A weight loss study where groups performing higher intensity and lower volumes of activity were compared with groups performing lower intensity and higher volumes of activity, showed no significant difference in results. So why punish yourself with intense exercise to get the exact same gains as someone exercising at a more comfortable and enjoyable rate?