PRESS RELEASE: Historian uses Google Streetview to find Britain’s “lost” 1930s-era cycleways

Monday, 8th May 2017 PRESS RELEASE For immediate publication. A historian has used the spin-off from an American military mapping project to discover nearly 300 miles of “lost” British cycleways. These cycleways were installed beside British roads between 1934 and 1940, but were abandoned after the Second World War. Many were surfaced with red concrete, protected cyclists with kerbs and …

Blurbs

The front cover of Bike Boom can be seen above, but here’s the back cover, too. It contains the all-important blurbs. Text too small to read? Click for a larger version or read the full text is below. The book majors on the bike booms of the 1930s in the UK and the 1970s in the USA. Between 1934 and …

In 1935, cyclists accounted for 80 percent of the traffic in some English towns and cities

In May 1935, a Divisional Road Engineer in the Ministry of Transport wrote to the Chief Engineer in London giving the latest traffic counts: “The cycle traffic on the Wolverton Road [near Stony Stratford in Buckinghamshire] represents in numbers 54 percent of the traffic on the road throughout the day. At rush hours it reaches 80 percent of the total …

#AlternativeFact: “Cyclists cause air pollution”

“Cyclists cause air pollution” is becoming one of the regular tropes to attack cycling, wheeled out by shock-jocks, NIMBYs and even black-cab drivers (possibly tweeting such views from their diesel-powered vehicles, idling at taxi stands). It’s insidious. Have a look at this A-level physics exam paper from Edexcel: I was alerted to the questions by my 17-year-old daughter. The exam …

Despite the car boom, cycle use doubled in the 1930s

From 1912 to 1934 the county surveyor for the County Council of Durham conducted traffic surveys on the increasingly busy Great North Road at Framwellgate Moor and Teams Crossing. “Generally, the statistics show an increase in lorry traffic and in motor cars, together with ordinary cycles. … This year ordinary cycles have more than doubled in number the figures recorded …

Netherlands vs Britain

Zoom in and out of OpenCycleMap: the difference between the Netherlands and the UK is stark, as is the difference between Belgium and France, countries which share the same topography at the border, and in parts the same language, but where the provision of cycleways is so different. There are also stark differences between the two “halves” of Belgium, the …