18 months ago, the Campaign’s AGM resolved:
We move that, during the coming year, the Committee should produce a visionary document for cycling in the city over the next 15 years. The document would 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:
- decision-makers a clearer idea of positive things the Campaign actually wants.
- a ‘pick-list’ of schemes which could be carried out (e.g. the Chisholm Trail; local schemes; opening up of blocked routes).
- a clear list of theme-based objectives for action (e.g. removal of obstructions; increasing cycle parking to levels which actually meet demand).
- a focus to get improvements to existing infrastructure.
- suggestions on broader non-physical measures such as driver/cyclist education and training as well as enforcement issues.
Potentially this could also be a document which local Councillors (or those standing for election) might choose to state whether they agree with.
Now is the time to harvest the skills and knowledge of the active and engaged membership, as well as feeding in results from the Members’ Survey, to produce a visionary document that not only reflects the emerging transport landscape but looks beyond the lifetime of current local government strategies.
In practice, what is envisaged is a series of linked pieces, about 1-4 pages each (depending on the particular subject) on a range of cycling-related areas. Each will be illustrated with high-quality photography, and the entire brochure typeset and printed to a professional-looking standard. A number of common themes, as well as high-profile ideas we wish to push, will be interspersed throughout.
The eventual brochure, whose concept is like that of other plans such as ‘Addenbrooke’s 2020’, hopes to inspire decision-makers and a range of other stakeholders. We want to demonstrate that best practice really is achievable, and why it would be so worthwhile. We want decision-makers to recognise how mediocre – by continental standards – many recent schemes have been and what is possible instead. We want to ensure new schemes and new developments around Cambridge are truly cycle-friendly.
Cycling 2020 will also be a key campaigning tool to support other projects we want to run, e.g. on our proposal for a premier North/South cycleway (the ‘Chisholm Trail’) and on major developments, as well as projects to be linked with our new online mapping system (see article in this Newsletter).
Until very recently little progress has been made, as the larger-scale nature of this task has been continually put back by the pressures of daily ‘fire-fighting’ against the raft of ill-conceived and inadequate schemes which have come forward for consideration.
Sitting down to write a well-rounded piece, summarising a multi-faceted issue in a compact and clear manner, requires several uninterrupted periods of time for clear thought, something volunteer Committee members and others have failed to find so far! We estimate each section will take several days to write and perfect. With 36 pages in total, this is a fair amount of writing.
However, the Campaign has recently been approached by a generous benefactor about the possibility of funding to complete this and a range of other strategic initiatives. Subject to confirmation, this funding should help get a number of such projects off the ground at last.
Invitation to tender
The Committee has thus resolved to authorise payment for this work (using the finance which is subject to receipt of formal confirmation of the grant funding) and invite bids for this work from members or other writers for some or a substantial part of it.
We feel there are likely to be a number of members of the Campaign, with sufficient understanding of the cycling issues involved, who might be willing to allocate, on a serious basis, their time to write material but be recompensed, at a commercial rate, for the necessary time in drafting. In some cases this could, for instance, involve using up several weeks of annual leave from employment. Payment would be as a contractor and not as an employee, with the individual responsible for any tax/legal implications.
We thus formally invite those with a serious potential interest in undertaking this work to study the formal tender specification (see below).
Panel and steering group
In order to avoid any potential conflict of interest which might arise, a panel of three members will be set up to assess bids. Please forward your name by 22 August to the Committee if you would be interested in being on this panel. Some experience in Campaign activity would be worthwhile.
A second panel will also be set up to monitor the progress of work by the individual(s) carrying it out and to report back to the Committee. The Committee will be responsible for approving and finalising material in accordance with its normal procedures.
We now have a clear brief covering the areas we want to have written, acting as a specification for work. This is online at www.camcycle.org.uk/campaigning/cycling2020/ and a printed copy is available on request.
This tender covers the three main aspects of the work:
- drafting of the material;
- photography and drawn illustration to accompany the material;
- design and typesetting of the material.
Full details are on the web page noted. It includes a rough indication of the finance available for the project as a whole. Joint bids will be considered.
This web page will carry the names and personal e-mail addresses of the members of the selection panel from around 26 August, to whom tender proposals should be sent by Friday 15 September 2006. The time scale for the work itself to be done is detailed in the tender document online.