The past few months have seen a lot of work within the Campaign on strategic matters to support and develop our campaigning.
Simon Nuttall has spent a large amount of time setting up a new online mapping system for the Campaign – see page 9. This is a major new resource which cyclists across Cambridge can use. Campaign members can add Cambridge cycling-related photos and route maps, but anyone can use the map itself.
Simon and I will be working in the coming few months to develop the photo-mapping to build up photo databases of problems in the Cambridge area. For instance, if you have a suggestion for a location which needs cycle parking, this could be added to the map. We can then build up and prioritise lists of the probably hundreds, if not thousands of locations around the city where cycle parking is needed, as a means to generate political will to provide it and make the case for funding to address a strategic deficiency. There are many other issues like this which could have similar treatment, and your input is most welcome.
New subgroup e-mail lists
Our new e-mail list system is starting to pay off, with new subgroups being set up to enable people interested in specific topics to discuss and work on issues. This is intended to get members more involved, should you wish to do so, and to reduce the (large) backlog of work falling on the Committee. Several lists have been set up, and those whose discussions haven’t yet been ‘kicked off’ by me will hopefully have done so by the time you read this! See the current ‘list of lists’ on page 7.
We are about to make use of some grant funding, subject to final approval, which has come our way. At the 2004 AGM, we passed a motion to create and campaign around a glossy promotional 36(ish)-page brochure and initiative called Cycling 2020, which will make a strong political case for funding cycling and improving things to best-practice levels. Since then, the Committee has struggled to find time to implement this, amongst the continual fire-fighting against ill-conceived and poor schemes.
However, Cycling 2020 will shortly have renewed impetus, as detailed on page 8. We need writers, photographers and designers to bid to produce parts of the brochure, so it can be published and got ready for campaigning usage as quickly as possible.
The large amount of new development around Cambridge threatens to reduce levels of cycling, unless such development is designed for cyclists from the start. This issue is another area we hope to address through grant funding.
We are currently investigating the ways in which we could most effectively have influence on getting cycling more heavily integrated into housing developers’ agendas. It’s a problem which is becoming increasingly urgent but which involves powerful forces in the form of housing developers with a lot of money.
The continued saga of transport arrangements around Arbury Park shows what can go wrong if the right policies and procedures aren’t in place. Unfortunately, the raft of ‘stakeholders’ involved in this process makes it currently unclear who is actually doing what!
Suspension of the City Centre cycling ban
Almost a year from the start of the 18-month experimental suspension of the cycling ban, I think it’s fairly safe to say that the reinstatement of daytime cycle access is working reasonably well. There certainly hasn’t been the ‘blood on the streets’ which a then Councillor predicted. A review will shortly be taking place of the changes. We continue to press for enforcement against rogue cyclists who can spoil the experience of people walking around. The majority of cyclists seem to take care and act with responsibility towards pedestrians using the area, and we hope that will continue.
Please encourage your friends to join the Campaign. We’ve now got a ‘tell-a-friend’ form on the website (please use it!) and people can join instantly online, or using the normal membership form. (Our membership has increased steadily since we introduced this online form.)
Martin Lucas-Smith, Co-ordinator