The York Experience

This article was published in 1996, in Newsletter 6.

Back in April, people packed out one of the larger rooms at the Friends Meeting House to hear Ken Spence speak about the experience he’s had in York as a Road Safety Officer.

After a detailed introduction to the issues surrounding Road Danger Reduction from our own Dave Earl, Ken described some of the successes York has had. It was certainly true that their accident statistics have reduced significantly over the last 5 years. He did admit, however, that this was in part due to a halving of motor cycle accidents (perhaps some Darwinian selection process is at work here?). They have a well used Park-and-Ride system and fairly good public transport around the city. York even has a city centre cycle ban!

But it was when he moved on to his slides that the evening became perplexing. Those there saw examples of cycle tracks, joint-use pavements, (dangerously narrow) on-road cycle lanes, and advance stop lines. All types of “facilities” we have here in Cambridge too: and yet the streets do seem to be safer for cyclists there. A fascinating evening, and it’s clear what can be achieved for cyclists with cycle-friendly advocates within the council. Hopefully, any cycle-liaison group set up with our council will allow us to have a similar positive influence.