Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Accessible Utrecht

As the website behind an initiative entitled Accessible Utrecht,  will use the Google Traffic ‘live map’ to show real time traffic information on the city's roads. Joint communication about major road construction from all the city’s transport infrastructure bodies is one of the main goals of “Accessible Utrecht”. The Accessible Utrecht website provides local citizens, commuters and companies with an overview of planned road works in a dynamic map. The website services over 150,000 visitors a year and is also accessible for smart phones. The ‘Live’ map provides a full view of what’s happening in and around the area. Information can be seen on all major road works planned by the various authorities (municipality, province and transport administration) in the Utrecht Region. Plus, people can find information about special events, public transport schedules, webcam views on major roads, Park & Ride locations, train stations, traffic jams, bicycle services, bike rental and car sharing services. For more information see

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Cycling worth £2.9bn to UK economy

Dr Alexander Grous, a productivity and innovation specialist in the Centre of Economic Performance (CEP) at the London School of Economics has published a report that shows cycling produces £2.9bn every year in total benefit to the UK economy. Titled The British Cycling Economy ‘Gross Cycling Product’ Report the 17 page document shows how the the growth of cycling over the last five years, with high profile sporting success in Beijing besides, is continuing to effectively pump real money into UK plc's bank balance. The report is sponsored by Sky and British Cycling with Sky's Group Director of Corporate Affairs Graham McWilliam starting off plainly in his welcome, "We believe this is the first-ever attempt to chart the full extent of cycling’s contribution to the British economy" with Dr Grous continuing in the introduction that having attempted to quantify the contribution of all aspects of cycling, he's calculated that each individual cyclist's personal contribution as a result of their riding is £230 per year. Certainly sections like "more cyclists equals less time off work' should see this report zinging into the inboxes of bosses and human resources departments across the country. Read on here.

In a hurry? Slide in Overvecht (NL)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Ultra @ Heathrow

ULTra vehicles are rubber-tyred, battery-powered vehicles, easily capable of carrying 4 passengers and their luggage, and are fully accessible to prams and wheelchairs. With a turning radius of only 5m (16 ft) and an empty weight of 850kg (1,870 lb), the vehicles can navigate complex routes with lightweight infrastructure, and are virtually silent when running, producing little or no external vibration. The innovative design of the ULTra system combines a lightweight guideway with a highly  manoeuvrable vehicle to allow great flexibility in both infrastructure design and positioning. ULTra can operate below-grade (e.g. via cut-and-cover tunnelling), at-grade, or above-grade (elevated), and the quiet, emission-free nature of the electric propulsion allows routes to be run internally through buildings if desired. A low loading footprint means that the system can be carried by conventional building structure with no need for structural strengthening. These features allow the ULTra stations to be positioned in optimum locations, allowing the system to be fully and effectively integrated into the area it will serve. And as a bonus: ULTra vehicles are spacious enough to carry multiple bicycles on-board

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

For 35,000,000 Europeans

Commissioned by the European Union, the Gallup Organization held a survey among citizens of the EU-27 countries. The bicycle is the primary means of transport for more than 35 million Europeans or 7% of the total population. Not surprisingly, the car is by far the most popular way to go from A to B for 53% of the Europeans. Initially the survey examined the current means of transport that EU citizens used to get around on a daily basis. These ranged from a car or motorbike, to public transport, cycling and walking. Not surprisingly a third of respondents in Netherlands (32%-34%) said that they mainly got around on a daily basis by walking or cycling. Besides the Netherlands cycling is also taking a substantial part of the non motorized mobility in other EU member states.Cycling is definitely not a matter of limited income proven by the fact that in Cyprus, with the lowest average income in the European Union, 89% of all mobility takes place by cars while the portion of people cycling is neglectable.  Statistical results were weighted to correct for known demographic discrepancies. For the complete survey click here. Read on in Bike Europe. Picture Copenhagenize.