This is an extraordinary time for Camcycle. June 2020 marks our 25th anniversary, and we have plenty to celebrate: a record 1,500 members, an established and well-supported calendar of events and a solid reputation for cycling advocacy. Sadly, we haven’t been able to acknowledge this with the happy gatherings we’d planned for this month. Instead, we are leading the regional cycling community’s response to coronavirus and are on the brink of being able to celebrate significant infrastructural changes which will enable more, better and safer cycling in our area.
Our biggest campaign to date, Spaces to Breathe, is a response to the pandemic that seeks to identify where people need more space for walking and cycling. It gathers ideas from local people and includes practical support for decisionmakers as they work to implement changes to our city’s travel routes. We’ve been listening closely to local people, collaborating with regional groups and encouraging bold action across Cambridgeshire. Not only has this work struck a chord with residents, business leaders and transport professionals, but it has also informed the county council’s agreed list of ambitious schemes to get more people cycling and help keep people healthy. Our ideas for a Quick CAM network, which would connect people to their places of work and recreation via safe, convenient and pleasant active travel routes, have been widely publicised and have changed the debate at a political level. The desire for change is gaining momentum.
The scale of the work has pushed our resources further than ever before. Everyone who participated as a member or new supporter has helped strengthen the call for safer travel provision for all and we are thrilled to see so much local support. Alongside this headline-grabbing work, other members have been helping to keep our sense of community going during the pandemic, using our online forum to share relevant recommendations for things to read, watch, listen to and learn from as well as joining us for our online weekly catch ups and monthly meetings. All in all, there’s been a wonderful sense of community spirit and shared effort – evidence of Camcycle’s roots still intact.
In what the government describes as a new, ‘golden age for cycling’, this issue of Camcycle celebrates our members’ long commitment to cycling and widespread support from the people of Cambridge. As a small local charity with just three part-time members of staff, we are completely indebted to those who support us as volunteers and through membership. With a tangible, positive shift in the political conversation around active transport, there has never been a more important time to strengthen our voice, so please join us – as a member, in discussion, crunching stats, counting cars, responding to planning, writing content, or simply in cycling whenever you can.
Adam Jenkins & Rosie Humphrey, Camcycle editors