Small is beautiful

This article was published in 2002, in Newsletter 42.

There are often relatively small things that can be done to help cyclists, but which don’t warrant setting up a separate process to deal with. For this reason, the City Council has a small works budget that it can spend on most things, within reason and cost, which benefit cyclists. This is now being augmented with some County Council money as well, so there will be £15,000 in the pot for next year.

So where should it be spent? Is there a gap that needs widening, a short stretch of cycle lane that needs completing, a kerb that needs lowering, or a shop that needs a cycle stand or two installing outside? If you live in the City of Cambridge and there is something in your neighbourhood that could usefully be done, please let us know, or contact either Clare Rankin or John Isherwood at the City Council.

Image as described adjacent
Funding coming soon to a pram-arm near you?

To give you an idea of scale, the budget would be enough to fund five or six small cattle grids, 30 or so dropped kerbs. But it would probably use up all the money to install one simple signal controlled crossing, so that’s probably beyond the scope of this particular fund.

National funding

In March, the Government announced a Cycling Projects Fund. More-or-less anyone, private or public sector, can bid for a share of this £2 million fund. The aim of the first bidding round is to raise the profile of cycling and create a greater awareness amongst the public of increases in cycling opportunities. Projects that are particularly noticeable, are expected to lead to an increase in cycling, and that could be set up quickly will have a greater chance of being awarded funds.

Again, these are likely to be smaller projects, in the thousands or small tens of thousands of pounds range.

As examples, the Government suggests:

  • Cycling parking at stations, town centres and other public places.
  • Provision of connections from roads, cycle tracks and cycleways into schools, colleges and workplaces.
  • Start-up costs for cycle training schemes.
  • Cycle trailer loan schemes with a School Travel Plan.

David Earl