The ninth AGM of the Cambridge Cycling Campaign took place on Tuesday 2 November 2004, and was well attended.
Putting innovation into practice
Our speaker this year was David Kemp, Suffolk County Council’s Cycling Officer, and his subject was ‘Putting innovation into practice’.
He focused on a range of examples of best practice from across Europe and the UK, many of which, given engineer willingness and vision, could be implemented in Cambridge. However, some measures are currently illegal here due to what we perceive as intransigence by the Department for Transport over the reduction of red tape.
The use of the sign ‘except cycles’ is commonly used in European countries to accompany a ‘no entry’ sign, effectively allowing cyclists a contraflow route through a one-way street. This is not permitted in the UK, despite the fact that an ‘except buses’ sign is permissible.
Another example is the use of a combined zebra/cycle crossing.
Newsletter 56 discussed in positive terms the Department for Transport’s draft Local Transport Notes and pointed out that, unless the DfT makes progress on simplifying arrangements for local authorities, there is little hope of seeing the widespread adoption of simple measures like these which can make such a difference to the cycling environment.
Before the meeting, some members of the Committee took David on a small tour around the city to view some examples of best (and worst!) practice of cycle-friendly infrastructure in Cambridge.
We thank David Kemp for his talk and for taking the time to come and speak to us. We hope to get many of the photographs from his talk on our website and feature them in a future Newsletter as we feel these would be of considerable interest to a large number of members.
Review of the year
Outgoing Co-ordinator, Martin Lucas-Smith, presented a review of the year. Copies of his notes are available on request.
Themes which have arisen this year have included:
- Cycle parking (or the lack of it): see Newsletter 56 for a full review;
- Changes in the city centre: the partial closure of Silver Street, new proposals for changes in the Regent Street area and around the bus station, the ping-pong between council committees and council officers on the issue of Trinity Street;
- Buses and bikes: less time was spent on this issue as the potentially disastrous Hills Road and Milton Road bus lane schemes were put on hold (these schemes would effectively force cyclists onto the pavement and are, therefore, unacceptable);
- Supermarkets: although the Tesco slalom course to Riverside remains in place, some improvements are proposed to the Beehive Centre;
- Bridges: the opening of the Jane Coston Cycle Bridge at Milton, thanks to the work of people in Milton and Councillor Jane Coston; the opening of the Million-Pound White Elephant Bridge, aka Coldham’s Lane Bridge, with the predictable outcome that some motorists have been abusing cyclists who remain on the road because of problems with the bridge; changes to the Fort St George Bridge that now allow cycling across it; a decision on the Riverside Bridge in favour of the design and location we wanted;
- Other schemes: a new route across Coe Fen and a flawed attempt at innovation on King’s Hedges Road have been two notable new schemes this year;
- Guided bus: the guided bus proposals which the Campaign has objected to because of inadequacies with respect to proposed associated provision for cyclists (the Campaign has not felt in a position to take a view on the Guided Bus itself, nor on alternative proposals for use of the line);
- Other progress: we’ve seen the start of the new Local Authority Parking Enforcement (LAPE) regime which should reduce illegal parking; proposals for redoing the cycle network’s signage are advancing;
- Nationally: we’ve seen a failed Bill to coerce under 16s to wear helmets, and one of the finest pieces of proposed national government guidance for a long time in the form of two excellent Local Transport Notes (discussed in Newsletter 56).
Thanks were given to all who have helped in the running of the Campaign this year – the Committee doing its various tasks including co-ordinating campaigns, people writing to their Councillors, members for being members and so keeping us one of the largest and most effective cycle lobby groups outside London, people doing the Newsletter, the website, Bike Week, the Stall, helping draft letters, joining a Subgroup and many other things besides.
The new Committee, elected at the AGM, is listed at the end of this newsletter.
As well as the election of the Committee, a few other motions were considered:
- Cycling 2020, a major new Campaign initiative to produce a visionary document for cycling in Cambridge over the next 15 years. Feedback and consultation with members will take place over the coming year. See the article later in this newsletter for more details.
- Dave Earl, Membership Secretary, reported that membership has seen a slight growth this year, rising to around 725.
- David Dyer presented the Budget showing that the Campaign remains in a financially stable position. It was agreed that membership rates will remain the same for another year.
- A motion was passed to tidy up the section of the Constitution that deals with the Committee and to include the position of Secretary.
Thanks to all who attended the AGM.
Our next monthly meeting will be on Tuesday 7 December; all members are warmly invited.
Martin Lucas-Smith, Co-ordinator