Cambridge Cycling Campaign is now affiliated to the Cycle Campaign Network (taking over Cambridge FoE’s previous affiliation). CCN is a federation of independent cycling campaign groups from most major towns across the country. Conferences are held twice a year, the spring one in conjunction with the Cyclists Touring Club Rights Network, and the autumn one on its own, and which I attended in St Albans on October 21. There were delegates mostly from south and central England, but also Cardiff and Edinburgh; this was not a large conference.
The theme was “Changing Attitudes”. The morning was quite general: a summary of Hertfordshire’s TravelWise promotion which has since been adopted by 19 other local authorities including Cambridgeshire. This is a propaganda campaign aimed at changing people’s mode of transport from the car; we saw Bill Oddie in the video promoting the campaign. We also heard about Hertfordshire’s Local Agenda 21 initiatives (arising from the Rio Earth Summit), which was interesting but largely irrelevant.
However, Transport 2000’s summary of how much Government and Local Authority attitudes have changed and are changing was much more useful, and very up-beat, following on from the reports from Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution’s and Standing Advisory Committee on Trunk Roads, in the last year-and-a-bit. Lothian (Edinburgh) for example has made a commitment to reduce car traffic by 30%.
Several people present had been to VeloCity in Basel in the summer and gave a report from that. VeloCity is an international conference held about every two years. People were generally a bit disappointed with it I think.
Probably the most important issue from our immediate point of view is the imminent publication of new guidelines for cycle provision from the Institute of Highways and Transport. While they are the publishers, it has been a really joint effort including the CTC, the Bicycle Association and with feedback from local authorities, edited by Dave Davies, who is an independent transport consultant and well known in cycling campaign circles. This document is likely to be used by local authorities in detailed design of cycle facilities. However, significantly it puts dedicated provision of cycling facilities at the bottom of a 5 point list of effective ways to provide for cyclists, at the top of which are reducing amount of traffic and reducing speed of traffic.