Calling all Victoria Pendletons & Bradley Wiggins’es

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Cycling meeting – open to everyone on Wed 12th Sept at Honiton Town Council office on New St (use side entrance on Chapel St). It’s an informal meeting starts 7.30pm. Tea & coffee provided. If you can’t get along to this meeting but have some ideas on how to develop cycling in Honiton – please post a comment here & I’ll take all the comments along to the meeting to share & discuss.

Honiton on Bikes!

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As part of my role as a town councillor I’ve pledged to focus on cycling in Honiton. There’s lots of potential here in Honiton and we’re going to get started on Wednesday 12th September 2012. Please join us from 7.30pm at the town council office on New St (entrance on Chapel St) and we will chat about cycling in Honiton and any ideas we all have to improve it.

In order to promote the meeting and safe cycling in general – the Midweek Herald will be running a photo and piece next week. So…..we need lots of people on bikes this Thursday at 11am. We’re gathering on All Hallows Playing Field (near the play park) on Thursday 23rd August. It shouldn’t take long and I’d really appreciate your help. Post a comment on here if you can come. Thanks everyone.

Sharon

Sponsored Bike Ride

The South West Green Party raised over £300 on Saturday 8th October with a sponsored bike ride & walk along the canal in Exeter. The funds will go towards the campaign to get a Green MEP elected in the South West.

bike ride group
From left: Tris & Rob Woodland from Bridgwater Greens, Lizzie Woodman from Exeter Green Party, me in the pink scarf and my nine year old Natasha & Adam (Lizzie's son) on far right

The weather was much better than expected and we did about ten miles from the Quay right down past the Double Locks pub to the Turf and back again.

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Natasha having a break at the ferry crossing to Topsham
Rob & Tris took the ferry over to Topsham
Rob & Tris took the ferry over to Topsham
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Adam & Lizzie taking a break
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A lovely place to enjoy some free time, either walking or cycling. We saw lots of wildlife along the way - herons, cormorants, dragonflies, ducks and lots of swans

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Tasha enjoying a hot chocolate at The Turf
Tasha enjoying a hot chocolate at The Turf
On the way back to Exeter
On the way back to Exeter

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Back on the train on the way home!
Back on the train on the way home!

Pedal Power – Improving Cycling in Honiton

East Devon Green Party Press Release Monday 22nd August 2011

While Honiton Town Councillor Sharon Pavey was visiting the north-east last week, she took the opportunity to find out more about Darlington’s status as a designated ‘Cycling Demonstration Town’.

cyclingdarlingtonSharon says “I spent some of my childhood in Darlington so when I heard about all the work that has been done on sustainable travel there over the past seven years, I took the opportunity to find out more in order to bring some practical ideas back to Honiton.”

As a keen cyclist herself, the local Green Party co-ordinator would like to see the opportunities for cycling developed in Honiton in order to cut car journeys and congestion, reduce harmful emissions and improve health. Sharon says “I was interested to find out that 34% of car journeys in Darlington had the potential to be made using alternative transport or walking/cycling. It makes you wonder what that figure is here in Honiton which is a much smaller town with shorter distances from the outskirts into the centre”.

Darlington had less than 1% of children cycling to school in 2004 and now seven years on, 8% of children cycle to school (the national average is just 2%).

withkidsonbikesSharon adds “Apparently two out of three trips we make are less than 5 miles so there is a lot of potential to walk or cycle, but people do need safe routes, support and encouragement. Darlington was fortunate to obtain funding to allow them to run a bike hire scheme, develop a massive network of safe, marked routes, produce maps and guides, hold a cycling festival, and work constructively with schools and employers.”

Research also shows that improvements to sustainable travel can increase turnover in the high street by 5 to 15% because people who travel to the shops on foot, by bicycle or public transport perhaps surprisingly tend to spend more per head than those who travel by car.

Cycling is one of the easiest ways to fit exercise into your daily routine because it’s also a form of transport and can burn up to a staggering 650 calories in one hour. It is the third most popular recreational activity in the UK, with an estimated 3.1 million people cycling each month.

Inspired by her meeting in County Durham, Sharon is now talking with transport officers at East Devon District Council, Devon County Council and Sustrans to find out what plans they have to develop sustainable transport in the county and will be reporting back her findings to Honiton Town Council in due course.

Contact Sharon Pavey – co-ordinator East Devon Green Party

sdpavey@gmail.com

07740973990

Honiton making the Transition…

The first Honiton Transition Town meeting takes place at 7.30pm on Wednesday 28th September at Montgomery’s on the High Street (next to Ganesha Health Food Shop). We will have representatives from other local transition towns and hopefully a bunch of interested, enthusiastic local people.

We will be discussing the possibility of starting our own transition group and the way forward. I will be chairing the meeting and representing the town council, who agreed to support such an initiative earlier this year. Please add a comment below if you are able to attend, so we have an idea of how many people are coming and most importantly please pass on a link to this page to anyone who you thing might be interested. Montgomery’s is very kindly giving us this meeting space free of charge, so it would be nice if everyone bought a drink or two in order to support this local business which is kindly supporting us!

A Transition Initiative (which could be a town, village, university or island etc) is a community-led response to the pressures of climate change, fossil fuel depletion and increasingly, economic contraction. For more info on the transition network, see www.transitionnetwork.org

World Carfree Day

Every September 22, people across the globe get together to swear off their cars – if only for one day – in a collective reminder that we don’t have to accept car-dominated societies, cities, or personal lives. Since its earliest incarnations in the 1970s and ‘80s, WORLD CARFREE DAY has grown into a massive global celebration of human focussed communities and people-powered transportation.

As the world tunes in to the fact that the climate is heating up, this is the perfect opportunity to take the heat off the planet, and put it on city planners and politicians to give priority to cycling, walking and public transport, instead of oil-hungry automobiles.

Check out the links below for global resources on going car-free, first on September 22, and then in your everyday life. Let World Carfree Day be a showcase for just how our cities might look, feel, and sound without cars – 365 days a year.

http://www.carbusters.org/index.php
http://www.worldcarfree.net/
http://www.mobilityweek.eu/

This article is from the Climate Rush Website – see http://www.climaterush.co.uk/world-carfree-day

I’ve also found these UK website:

http://www.carfree.org.uk/

http://www.giveupyourcar.com/

URGENT: New footpath and cyclepath in Ottery – show your support by 24 Dec!

At last, the planning application for the long-awaited footbridge, path and cycleway between the Land of Canaan and the King’s School has been submitted to East Devon District Council. This is very welcome news! Sustainable Ottery has been campaigning for this new path and bridge for several years now – alongside Ottery’s Town Council and many of the town’s residents. All the funding has now been secured, thanks to the combined efforts of our local councillors and a substantial grant from the Lottery (via Sustrans). So we simply cannot let this important project falter at the final hurdle.

The application can be viewed on the East Devon District Council website (10/2341/FUL). To be sure that EDDC planners give this project the green light it deserves, we need supporters to post a supportive comment on the website. We know it’s a busy time of year and we apologise for not giving you more notice. But just a short paragraph or a few words will suffice.

Please go to http://planning.eastdevon.gov.uk/online-applications and in the box, key in application number 10/2341/FUL. Then just click on `Comments’ and leave a supportive comment. The deadline for online comments is 24 Dec 2010. Alternatively, you can send a supportive comment in writing (quoting application no. 10/2341/FUL) to: Planning Department, EDDC, Knowle, Sidmouth, EX10 8HL.

Key points you can raise:

  • The proposed bridge and footpath/cyclepath will create a badly needed link between the centre of town and the west side of Ottery – particularly the hospital, the secondary school, and the Thorne Farm Estate. Up until now, the west has been cut off from the rest of town by a busy main road.

  • It will provide a safe and traffic-free route to and from school for hundreds of Ottery schoolchildren, avoiding the highly dangerous Barrack Rd/Mill St route.

  • It will reduce car journeys in Ottery as more people walk and cycle between the town centre and the west of Ottery – thereby reducing the town’s carbon footprint.

  • It will encourage people to take more exercise and contribute to a healthier community.

  • If possible, please do include a personal comment about how and why this project matters to you.

Thank you in advance for your support. Cross fingers the plans will be approved and construction will begin before the end of March 2011.

Advance notice: We understand the meeting of the relevant EDDC planning committee to decide on the application will take place in the council chamber at Knowle on Tues 11 Jan (at 2pm we think). The meeting is open to the public and we are encouraging those supportive of the project to attend in person. That way, we will send a clear message to district councillors that this is a project local residents really care about, and one which we have waited a long time for and which must go ahead regardless of the current economic climate. So if anyone is free that afternoon, please pencil 11 Jan in your diaries. If the date and time change, we will let everyone know. You can also ring Helen Collinson on tel 01404 814078 or e-mail info@sustainableottery.org.uk if you have any questions.

I’ve just added my comments (Mrs Sharon Pavey & East Devon Green Party)