This article was published in 2008, in Newsletter 76.
Strategic issues galore
The start of the new year has been characterised by a range of large, strategic issues we as a Campaign need to be focussing on.
The County Council’s consultation on its bid for congestion charging and £500m of up-front transport investment is now in full swing. As we report elsewhere in this Newsletter, we have now come to an initial policy position on the proposals, but there is much more to be done. We are keen to influence the plans towards the agenda of improving and expanding cycling as much as possible, in the event that the bid is taken forward and approved by government. This is a perhaps rare occasion when the very top of the cycling solutions hierarchy – reducing the amount of vehicle traffic – is finally being proposed at senior County Council level.
Our Cycling 2020 brochure is also being published in March, and will outline to a wide range of stakeholders the problems that need to be addressed in order to make Cambridge a world-class cycling city, something that – despite high levels of cycling – currently it is not. Read more in the next Newsletter about this initiative and its launch.
Dovetailing with that, and just pipping it to the post, this month we publish our Position Paper on New Developments, as outlined in this Newsletter. In the last year we have often found ourselves needing a really good practical and concise guide to what ‘cycle-friendly’ actually means in practice when there is a clean sheet, as with planning to build over huge areas of greenfield land.
On a related theme, the planning applications for large housing development in areas such as Northstowe, Trumpington Meadows and others are arriving and are now near the top of our agenda. If you live near any of these and/or can help scrutinise the plans, please let us know.
Internally, our own proposals to take on a Campaign worker to help facilitate the work of the Committee and other volunteers are moving forward. We have been taking advice from other groups familiar with this route, and we hope to progress this as quickly but as carefully as possible, having received the very welcome indication of funding in principle from a very kind donor. Once the details have been finalised we will be advertising this full-time position openly. We expect the incumbent to make a significant difference to the Campaign’s work, in quality and quantity, not to mention success.
Lastly, this month we take a light-hearted but nonetheless heartfelt look at some of the ‘mindset’ issues that we encounter regularly from decision-makers, areas that we need to work on changing.
Martin Lucas-Smith, Co-ordinator