Cambridge City Council in 2011 reduced the number of Cycling Officer posts from 1.2 to 0.6 as part of a more general restructuring of the Streets & Open Spaces department. In our view this will mean even less scrutiny of developments affecting cyclists, and cutting back on work to promote responsible cycling.
FoI request, March 2012
An Freedom of Information response has revealed answers from the City Council about the savings being made and the reallocation of work.
Speaking to full meeting of Council
Mr Lucas Smith addressed the Council in relation to agenda item 5c, to seek an increase in the dedicated provision for Cycling, namely the reinstatement of the full time Cycling Officer post. Clarification was also requested on the current status of the proposed training on cycling issues for planning officers, which had been highlighted at a previous meeting.
The Executive Councillor for Planning and Sustainable Transport explained that anything to promote cycling was a good idea, but that the question was based on a false assumption. The Executive Councillor explained that the resources had not been reduced, but simply transferred to different budgets. The Executive Councillor agreed to respond to the public speaker outside of the meeting regarding the status of the planning training.
We are awaiting a reply, and remain unconvinced by this explanation.
Briefing: The case for full-time cycling officers, 25th May 2011
We have summarised The case for full-time cycling officers in this briefing for City Councillors.
We welcome any comments, via our contact details.
Statement, 16th May 2011
Cambridge Cycling Campaign is dismayed that Cambridge City Council [not County] is proposing to cut back its Cycling & Walking staff, in a city where one in five journeys are made by bike.
The post has been essential for ensuring that cycling is taken into account in development proposals. With less scrutiny, more developers will now get away with providing inadequate levels of cycle parking and access, causing future congestion and cycle theft problems.
Motorists and cyclists alike should also be concerned that the reduction of this post would seemingly mean cutting back on work to promote responsible cycling.
The change seems to have been slipped into a larger paper which Councillors may have accidentally missed.
We call upon all four political parties in the area to get together and agree that the proposed change should not go ahead, and fund it through the City Council’s Climate Change Fund.
We have sent an FoI request asking about any public consultation that took place to ask the public about their views on increased or decreased provision by the City Council on matters covered by the Streets & Open Spaces department.