New mapping technologies will aid cyclists' campaign for safer city routes

CYCLISTS will be able to use innovative technologies in their campaign for safer bike routes in the city.

Friday, 18th November 2016, 5:55 am
Updated Friday, 18th November 2016, 12:22 pm
Portsmouth Cycle Forum wants to make the city safer for cyclists

Portsmouth Cycle Forum welcomed Roger Geffen MBE, the policy director of Cycling UK, to its meeting last night.

As part of the organisation’s Space for Cycling initiative, Mr Geffen introduced network mapping technologies that could give cyclists a sturdier platform for feedback on cycling infrastructure to Portsmouth City Council.

Mr Geffen said the methods mapped out in the initiative will give campaigners the chance to ‘help influence the development of high-quality space for cycling’.

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He said: ‘There are ways in which people can get involved, firstly by identifying a local cycling network and where the greatest potential is for increased cycle use, both in short-term and longer-term.’

The online tools will allow groups to plot a ‘tube map’ network of routes in Portsmouth that they believe will be popular with cyclists, therefore prioritising them for development.

This year, Portsmouth was once again ranked the most dangerous place for cyclists to ride outside of London.

Ian Saunders, acting chair of Portsmouth Cycling Forum, said that the tools will definitely be considered for use at a future meeting.

He said: ‘It will be a beneficial tool for us to be able to actually work out exactly which routes will work, how many people are going to be using them, and how to improve them.’

Jon Spencer, who serves on the forum’s committee, says that major roads such as Anglesey Road and London Road have become ‘problem sites’ for cycling safety.

He said: ‘With the potential of a combined Solent authority, everything is to play for. By increasing the size of the authority, hopefully the pot of money that you’ve got for doing things is hopefully going to get bigger.’

Mr Geffen said he was ‘very confident’ about the forum’s campaign for safer cycling spaces.

He said: ‘This is a really strong group that’s keen to forge partnerships with other community groups and supportive councillors, and to make sure that they’ve got the wider population of Portsmouth on side for all of the wider benefits that this could bring.’