Cycling 2020

The last AGM decided that the Campaign should produce a policy document, Cycling 2020, which would set the framework for cycling in Cambridge for the next 15 years (see the box below).

The Committee, plus a group of interested members, met in mid January and spent an enjoyable and thought-provoking afternoon mapping out the areas the document should cover. We came up with five key points:

  • It needs to be faithful to our Manifesto. This was published in 1995 at the Campaign’s inception and is as relevant today as it was then.
  • It needs to change attitudes to cycling provision; the City and County Councils should be more adventurous and prepared to try new things.
  • We want Cambridge to be safe enough for parents to be happy for their children to cycle.
  • It needs to take account of the future expansion of Cambridge; if this is not dealt with imaginatively, the level of cycling could decline.
  • The document should not degenerate into a wish-list, or focus solely on physical infrastructure.

Audience

The audience will be wide-ranging:

  • Policy-makers (Councillors, officials, senior officials)
  • Private developers (whose schemes form an increasingly large proportion of the changes which affect cyclists)
  • Quangos, e.g. Cambridge Horizons
  • The media (as a means of exerting pressure on policy makers)
  • Our own members, who we hope will use this new tool as a means of enthusing others and boosting membership
  • National personalities: showing what could be done across the county
  • Employers

Format

The final document should include enough detail to explain concepts that are sometimes non-intuitive, but must avoid becoming a design manual. We need an attractive, readable and thought-provoking booklet of about 24 pages, in full colour with a glossy appearance. We hope to obtain a grant to cover the costs of printing and of typesetting.

Structure

Following an executive summary outlining our desired approach to cycling provision around Cambridge, there would be several one-to-four page sections, each on a major theme (as listed below), interspersed with smaller, cross-linking sections.

The main sections would include examples of good and bad provision, demonstrating how things should and should not be done. And there are plenty of examples of the latter around Cambridge! Artists’ impressions should be included to provide example locations where innovative new schemes could be tried.

The main sections that we initially envisage are:

  • Primary cycle routes (e.g. the Chisholm Trail, our proposal for a cycle-superhighway roughly running alongside the railway connecting Addenbrooke’s to the Science Park)
  • Removal of barriers to cycling (e.g. obstructions, filling in ‘missing links’, etc.)
  • Managing/taming traffic (area-wide speed limits, Home Zones)
  • Education and training (for all classes of road user – cyclists included)
  • Enforcement issues
  • Cycle parking (why and how it should be done)
  • Reallocation of road space (car parking, bus lanes, finding ways to accommodate cyclists rather than making them the enemy of both motorists and pedestrians)
  • Dealing with the legacy of bad infrastructure (such as the removal of bad shared use provision, dealing with ‘niggles’ on a city-wide basis)

Smaller sections would include:

  • Discussion of safety vs. convenience, and how safety often follows naturally from a well-planned, easy-to-use scheme.
  • Ensuring that the needs of pedestrians are fully respected
  • Maintenance of routes (e.g. surfacing)
  • National policy issues
  • ‘Why provide for cyclists?’ (particularly of interest to people less familiar with the issues).

Next steps

We would welcome involvement from anyone who could help to write text for the above sections or who could help in other ways.

Copies of the full notes from the meeting are available on request via our usual contact details.

We hope to have the finished document ready and printed in time for the 2005 AGM in November. We hope that it would be accompanied by a roadshow to launch it as a basis for future campaigning.

Cycling 2020 is to be a visionary document for cycling in the city over the next 15 years, that not only reflects the emerging transport landscape but looks beyond the lifetime of current local government strategies.

It will contain a series of achievable but challenging plans for the delivery of an attractive cycling infrastructure, and act as a focus for campaigning.

It would principally:

  • Give decision-makers a clearer idea of positive things the Campaign actually wants;
  • Provide a ‘pick-list’ of schemes which could be carried out (e.g. the Chisholm Trail; local schemes; opening up of blocked routes, etc)
  • Outline a clear list of theme-based objectives for action (e.g. removal of obstructions; increasing cycle parking to levels which actually meet demand).
  • Give a focus to get improvements to existing infrastructure.
  • Make suggestions on broader non-physical measures such as driver/cyclist education and training as well as enforcement issues.

Martin Lucas-Smith, Co-ordinator