Liaison Group resurrected

Image as described adjacent
One of the initiatives of the Think Cycling to be seen on the back of most buses in the City. The work of this project will now be folded into the Travel For Work project.

After an absence of a year and a half, the Cambridge Area Cycling Liaison Group has met again. This committee was formed several years ago as a result of our lobbying, after the City Council’s ‘cycling working party’ subcommittee was disbanded. The long lapse was mainly a result of changed roles at the County Council, but it looks as if there is now good news on that front.

The liaison group’s role is to discuss cycling strategy. It has no powers, but its advice is reported to councillors. It brings together County Council and Cambridge, South Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire district council officers, Cambridge Cycling Campaign, the CTC, and walking and disability groups. One of the changes that has occurred at the County Council over the past few years is that most schemes in the City are now channelled through the Cambridge Projects team (headed by Richard Preston). It was very regrettable, therefore, that they were not represented at the meetings; they were invited.

Most of the issues discussed are reported elsewhere in this newsletter. However, we also wondered whether the terms of reference for the group were still correct (most felt they were, though there is recognition that walking needs to be considered in its own right). The committee will be particularly concerned about the County’s cycling strategy, and the extent to which it really does inform decision-making. The City Council is also in the early stages of drawing up its own strategy, but has been told firmly that it must not challenge anything in the County’s strategy.

Though it still has to be finalised, it now seems quite likely that the County Council will once more appoint a full-time cycling officer. John Richards’ role as Cycling Officer has been considerably diluted over the years as he has taken on more responsibility for South Cambridgeshire traffic management. This is in addition to a new post to be funded in the Travel For Work partnership. This person will bring together the part time posts previously held by Katherine Harvey and Sarah Goretzki for cycling promotion under the Think Cycling banner, and running the Cycle Friendly Employers scheme.

David Earl