AGM – third time lucky?
Unfortunately we were again not quorate for the AGM called on June 13th and we are therefore holding another one on Monday 12th September 2016 at the Toby Carvery, Forest Road, Loughborough, LE11 3HU at 7-30pm. Please try and attend as if we can’t even manage to achieve a quorum of 5 members we will have to consider winding up the campaign.
Stuck in first gear – the Government’s ‘Cycling Revolution’
A recent report from the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group’s (APPCG), of their inquiry into the Government’s draft Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, sets out their recommendations to strengthen the Government’s ambition for the future of cycling and walking. The report makes eight recommendations, including Cycling UK’s calls for greater investment, national standards for cycle friendly design and an updated Highway Code.
In particular, the APPCG agrees that the Government needs greatly to magnify its ambition and funding commitment if it really wants cycling to reach levels seen in other European countries such as the Netherlands.
Establishing Bridleway past Mucklin Wood
Stephen Tipping, Access Officer, Environment and Transport Department at Leicestershire County Council is endeavouring to establish that the track between Woodthorpe and Beaumanor should be designated as a bridleway under Section 53 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
If you can provide any evidence in support of this application please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone him on 0116 305 7084 or write to him at County Hall, Glenfield. Leicestershire LE3 8RJ. Simply indicating how long you have used the route would be helpful.
Currently the route is designated as a public footpath, although it is used by many cyclists. Once formally designated a bridleway we can work for it to be improved as part of the local cycle network.
Please suggest that the bridleway avoids Mucklin Lodge, a private house, and instead uses the paths created for the Grange Park Development leading from Haddon Way/Highland Drive to the NE of Mucklin Wood .
Comments need to be submitted by 12th August 2016.
Cycle spend in England = still not much
In answer to a recent parliamentary question, cycling minister Robert Goodwill MP said that the 2015/16 spend on cycling, from local as well as national funding sources, was as follows:
- Bikeability: £11.7m
- Cycle Rail: £14.0m (plus matched funding of £2.10m)
- Cycle Ambition Cities: £15.0m (plus matched funding of £5.10m)
- Highways England: £16.7m
- Local Sustainable Transport Fund: £64.50m
- Local Growth Fund: £60.80m
- Integrated Transport Block: £28.40m
- Transport for London: £145m
£7 per head sounds more impressive than it actually is because it includes the allocation for London, which on its own comes to £18 per London resident. To Get Britain Cycling, we believe that at least £10 per year per head needs to be spent on cycling - not just in a few lucky places, but everywhere. The ambition should be £20+.
Sport England- new strategy to tackle inactivity
More than one in four people in England (28 per cent) do less than 30 minutes of physical activity a week. But research shows that those who do the least exercise stand to benefit the most from small increases in activity, such as walking, gentle jogging, swimming or cycling.
Consequently in May 2016 Sport England launched a revised outline strategy for 2017 to 2021 which aims to increase the number of people getting active, rather than just concentrating on getting them involved in competitive sport.
The new vision is that everyone in England, regardless of age, background or ability, will feel able to take part in sport or activity. Some might be fit and talented, but others won’t be so confident. It is the latter who are now incorporated in the target market for Sport England.
Some of the objectives that will be particularly welcome to those who want to promote non-competitive cycling and walking are:
- increase the number of people in England taking part in sport and activity and decrease the number of people who are physically inactive;
- increase the number of children who are physically literate – i.e. confident and competent in sport and activity;
- increase the number of adults using the great outdoors for exercise and wellbeing.
Side-steps and buck-passing
Based on a Cycling UK report
The Government has published its response to the House of Commons Transport Select Committee report on its inquiry into traffic law enforcement.
Unfortunately, the Government’s response is somewhat dismissive, not least regarding the widespread concerns about the falling number of traffic police officers. The Committee concluded that the reduction in the number of road traffic offences detected was directly linked to decreasing traffic police officers, and not indicative of fewer offences being committed. Abdicating any leadership responsibility for this, the Government has passed the buck to Police and Crime Commissioners and Chief Constables of individual forces, adding that it is not police numbers that matter but how they are deployed.
The Committee had recognised the dangers faced by cyclists from ‘near miss’ incidents, the problems concerning how reports of near misses are handled by different police forces, and the potential for this to impact upon the proportion of people who believe that it is too dangerous to cycle on the road. Pointing out that this perceived failure to enforce the law was inconsistent with the Government’s aim to promote cycling, and that it must be addressed, the Committee recommended that the Home Office consider further the problems of near miss investigation. Again, as with traffic police numbers, the Government side-stepped this as an “operational matter for the police”.
There was better news on certain lorry safety and enforcement issues, with the Government undertaking to consider Transport for London’s Safer Lorry Scheme and broadly making positive noises regarding safer lorry initiatives. Similarly, it was supportive of Cycling UK’s suggestion that the lessons from targeted and intelligence-led enforcement by the London Freight Enforcement Partnership should be more broadly applied on a wider national level to target rogue operators.
Overall, however, the apparent reluctance to take on board the Committee’s recommendations is disappointing.