THE NATIONAL CYCLING STRATEGY - IDENTIFYING LOCAL OPPORTUNITIES
Most of us remember the National Cycling Strategy from 1996, if only for its headline targets: to double cycle use by 2002 and quadruple it by 2012. But now it is 2002, and cycle use has fallen slightly from 1996. Recently the Government even quietly allowed the final target to slip, to a tripling of 1996 cycling levels by 2010.
But this year, possibly on the back of all the hoo-haa about transport caused by the state of the railways, the original strategy has been resurrected and the National Cycling Strategy Board appointed to oversee implementation. Chair of the NCS Board is Steven Norris, the last Secretary of State for Transport in the Major Government. He started to do a lot of sensible things which many of us assumed would be fast-tracked by an incoming Labour Government (and were, of course, bitterly disappointed!). Thankfully, Norris cycles himself and so has the understanding born of practice of the joys and sorrows of cycling today and thus of the opportunities for and threats to it. And as he allegedly kept not one but five mistresses, he should allay the fears of any men who worry that cycling may adversely affect their performance in that department!
The most important thing about the National Cycling Strategy Board that we need to know locally is that they have a pot of money from which they give grants for projects likely to promote the ends of the Strategy. The bid window for this year has closed but a new one opens early next year and it would be nice to think that the Loughborough area could get some gravy off the train.
At the October Campaign Meeting, where the topic for discussion was the National Cycling Strategy and its progress to date, members present had a quick brain-storming session to produce a few suggestions. The most popular idea was some sort of cycle contraflow provision to make it easier to get across the town centre from the Nottingham Road side to the Forest side. Other suggestions comprised a secure cycle park for the Charnwood Theatre (Town Hall), 15 bicycles for the local police to use, and something in schools to ensure that children get the green message.
Apparently 'wacky stuff' is preferred by the Board, as they are desperate people on the trail of something, anything, that really works. Not surprising when you think of the vast mileage (and it sounds even further in kilometres!) of cycle lanes and paths installed over the last decade and the miserable lack of success they have had in reviving cycling.
We want to be ready to push for a bid in the next window. So please, all put on your thinking caps, and get your ideas to a member of the Committee by the end of the year.Ariadne Tampion
I saw a television documentary earlier this summer about the female (thin) model Twiggy who was famous in the 1960's and 1970's. Some of the pictures and films made showed her on a push bike!
Perhaps cycle promotion campaigns could use archive material - as long as she was decently clothed of course!Sophia Howard
YOUR TURN TO SIT DOWN
You may think my Chair's Pieces are rather irregular, but in fact if you look at the irregularities you may notice the striking correlation with the school terms and holidays. Then there was my speech at the Tenth Anniversary Celebration which John described as "a little too long for Isobel's taste", because, like George Bernard Shaw on the day after the end of the Easter holidays, I didn't have time to prepare a shorter one. And the excellent data collected on the annual inspection of local cycle paths in July, which happened to be the first day of the summer holidays, is now in a black hole somewhere.
But now that Isobel attends play school two mornings a week, one being Tuesday, I get a guaranteed opportunity to action things decided in the meeting whilst they are still warm. Thus I have written to Viv Holmes, House Manager at John Storer House, to query the apparent lack of any cycle parking in the artist's impression of the proposed redevelopment of JSH. And I have written the other piece you will read in this newsletter.
I have also been able to write a few campaigning-type letters which have been on my wish-list for longer than I am prepared to admit. When I have something serious to say to somebody in a high place, I always prefer to write; it cannot be deleted at the touch of a button. But postal addresses seem increasingly hard to come by in these days of instantaneous electronic communication. Just try finding postal addresses for any officer of Charnwood Borough Council! At least with local things you can use an approximate address and assume it will probably get there. So, to encourage you all to do a bit for the cause, I shall share the two addresses I have sleuthed out for Steven Norris, Chair of the National Cycling Strategy Board, and Alistair Darling, Secretary of State for Transport.
Steven Norris has been reported to welcome communication from cyclists (anything to give clues! - see my other piece), so write and tell him what you think are the most important things that can be done to promote cycling. Contact him at:
NCS Board, Great Minster House, 76 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DR
Alistair Darling is the man with the real power, so let him know what you think too. His address is:
Eland House, Bressenden Place, London SW1P 3EB
Have fun and good luck! And don't forget the next Campaign Meeting on 'Promoting Cycling as Transport for the Young', led by Sophie Catt, our Children's Officer. Sophie would be pleased to see some other young faces at her special meeting. There will be a box of Brio train-stuff for younger siblings obliged to tag along and adults who feel the little ones need some help in learning from directed play (or any other excuse they can come up with!).Ariadne Tampion
National Travel Survey: 1999/2001
The average person travelled 5% further in each year 1999/2001 compared to 1989/1991. 25% of trips are below 1 mile, 80% of which were by foot. Car is predominantly used for all trips over I mile.
The distance travelled by car increased by 11% during the 1990's. 60% of cars only have one occupant.
The number of households not having access to cars dropped from 31% to 28%.
The number of primary schools children walking to school has dropped from 62% to 54% and those driven to school increased from 27% to 39%.
http://www.transtat.dft.gov.uk/personal/index.htm (25/07/02 DTLR press release).
Travel Plan Guides
Two free guides to help businesses, Local Authorities and other organisations to ensure their staff travel plans are successful. The plans should aim to reduce car dependency and encourage alternatives such as cycling. Further information www.local-transport.dft.gov.uk/travelplans/index.htm. (5/08/02 DTLR press release).
Bike Week 2003
Next years Bike Week will be 14-22 June. Bike2Work will run for the whole week.
We are again intending to run a ride with the Great Central Railway on 22 June so please mark up your diaries and let any friends know who might be interested in coming along.
Leicestershire Local Transport Plan
The 2002 Annual Progress Report for the Leicestershire LTP area is now available.
We understand that you have to pay for the paper version but if you have web access you can view it at http://www.leics.gov.uk/p_t/ltp/apr_2002.htm.Local Police and Bicycles
Ray Clay attended a Police Authority Public Meeting and following a query received a letter from Ian Stripp, Chief Superintendent, North Area Commander, which among other things stated :
"Beat officers do patrol both on foot and with pedal cycles. It is something which is encouraged and is actually in use. In particular we have launched a particular policing cycle initiative on Syston Local Policing Unit".
"There are some alterations planned for Loughborough Police Station and there is cycle racking for both the public and police staff. I have also taken the decision to purchase a new cycle rack for Loughborough as the number of police officers and support staff cycling to work has significantly increased".
Chair Ariadne Tampion firstname.lastname@example.org 211468
Secretary Clive Davis C.Davis@connectfree.co.uk 0115 9831308
Treasurer David Bentley 236695
Membership Sec. John Catt email@example.com 211468
Publicity Officer Clive Davis C.Davis@connectfree.co.uk 0115 9831308
Newsletter Editor John Catt firstname.lastname@example.org 211468
Children's Officer Sophie Catt email@example.com 211468>/p>
Committee :- Roger Hill, Ruth Youngs and Anthony Kay.
Any letters or articles for inclusion in the newsletter should be sent to the Editor at 32 Bramcote Road, Loughborough, LE11 2SA or E Mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
CAMPAIGN MEETINGS are held on the second Monday of the month at John Storer House at 7-30pm.
11 th November Promoting cycling as transport for the young. Discussion led by Sophie Catt
9th December Yuletide party
13 January To be decided
10 February To be decided
10 March Annual General Meeting