STEER

At July’s monthly meeting, the Campaign decided to join Sustainable Transport and Environment for the Eastern Region. This umbrella group of related organisations held an all-day seminar in Colchester, and I drove there in my shiny new 1988 car, to prove what a sincere and genuine green campaigner I am.

The theme was Public Transport – Making Connections, and the star speakers were Mark Papworth, an executive from Railtrack, and Bob Breakwell, managing director of Great Eastern Railway. These spent a lot of energy to persuade us that Railtrack and the Train Operating Companies are on the way to ‘delivering the world’s best railway.’

More relevant to cycling was a summary of initiatives and decisions of the new Labour government, and recent actions by national environmental organisations. In June, Dr Gavin Strang, minister in the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, announced a far-reaching strategic Roads Review – responses by the end of October. This includes ‘…whether steps should be taken to manage demand for travel by road’ (my italics). A later press release makes more environmental noises, after the now familiar chant that ‘there will be no sacred cows.’ Half a dozen new publications from Sustrans, the CTC, Transport 2000 and the Council for the Protection of Rural England were recommended reading for campaigners.

Mark Irving