In January, the Committee held a Strategy Day to consider the Campaign’s direction, its strengths and weaknesses, and areas where problems commonly occur. Several practical areas for improvement have been identified.
Firstly, as mentioned elsewhere in this Newsletter, we plan to create a series of position papers outlining the Campaign’s views. These should help to reduce the time we take in responding to consultations. Work on these has begun, starting with papers on responsible, legal cycling and on priority at side roads.
Secondly, we need to take a more active role in welcoming changes that are of benefit to cyclists. In addition to improving relations with the Council – praise is always worthwhile, it should help to guide them in the direction we wish them to go. It should also help to counteract some of the more populist responses to consultations that appear in the letters pages of the local press.
Thirdly, we need to be more active in using the media to publicise the work and views of the Campaign, and to give it a more up-beat image. We will write a paper that poses the question ‘why provide for cyclists?’ to help inform policy-makers.
In future, we need to initiate further positive new proposals rather than simply respond to consultations. For several years the Campaign has promoted the idea of the Chisholm Trail, a major new route running roughly along the railway line. We need to pursue other, similarly inspirational, schemes.
We also hope to improve attendance at monthly meetings by having speakers, both local and national, presenting a range of interesting topics.
A variety of other areas has been identified, and the Committee will endeavour to keep you informed through these pages. Notes from the Strategy Day are available to members on request.