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Archive for the ‘Accessibility’ Category

Another year, another Hallowe’en family-friendly bike ride extravaganza!

Hallowe'en Kidical Mass

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Sustrans has published a news item describing how people with disabilities, parents cycling with children, tandem riders, and standard bicycle riders have overwhelmingly welcomed the trial opening of barriers on the Fallowfield Loop!  Read more on this here.

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Feedback received on the trial of open barriers on the Loop and the results of the Friends’ surveys (online and face-to-face) have now been collated.  A fuller report will be completed and published in due course, but meanwhile this summary report is being shared with Sustrans for discussion.

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Following the recent “open barriers” trial on the Loop, we have been gathering Loop users’ views on the experience of having the barriers open.  We have already received a good amount of feedback through the website, by email and through a recent face-to-face survey on the Loop of passing users.  If anyone hasn’t yet provided feedback on the open barriers and would like to do so, then it is not too late!  Please complete this short online survey before the end of August.  We will then collate all the feedback received from different sources to give an overall assessment of the trial.

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Further to the recent post about the trial opening of Loop barriers, a final version of the feasibility study for the trial is now available, to incorporate some updates and corrections. A timeline of the planned trial is also available.  The trial is now in progress, with the first 6-week phase having started on 10th April 2016.  The Friends will keep users informed of the trial’s progress!

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Many members have found negotiating the barriers along the Loop to be a cumbersome experience, and the barriers can also prevent certain categories of potential users from venturing onto the route at all, whether in wheelchairs, tricycles, trailer bikes, or tandems. Together with Sustrans we are planning a trial opening of all the internal barriers along the Loop on six successive weekends starting shortly. Actually this will be on each Sunday and the following Monday, so that those using the route for travel to work or school can experience the change as well as leisure users. Subject to review, the barriers will then be open continuously for a three-month period following the weekend trials. The start date of the weekend openings will be confirmed as soon as small posts have been installed so that the barriers can be locked open safely – we hope by early April 2016.

Lorenza Casini, who jointly organised two successful Kidical Mass rides last autumn, with the barriers open, has drawn up an extensive plan and schedule for the openings in a feasibility report for the trial.  Our thanks are due to her for an impressive document. She sees opening the barriers as offering the opportunity for a step-change in the use of the Loop, bringing new users in, and better linking up the different communities through which the route passes.

Different events will be planned to take place while the barriers are open, culminating in a ‘Fallowfield Loop Festival’ some time in the early summer. Towards the end of the period we will conduct a survey of users, to gauge their reactions to the opening.

There are many things that volunteers can do to contribute to the success of this programme.  Please contact us if you can help with any of the following (or have any other suggestions!):

  • Helping with the opening of the barriers at the start of a Sunday and closing again on Monday evening.
  • Coming up with ideas for events to take place while the barriers are open.
  • Giving feedback, once the trial has started, on how you find the experience of the barrier openings.

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