There was a good turn out to hear Mike Davies and Patrick Joyce (Manager of the Cambridge Cycling Demonstration Town project and County Council Cycling Officer respectively) give a review of the lengthy list of schemes they’ve been dealing with over the past few years.
Mike noted that the previous average spend on cycle facilities was 60p per head whereas the Cycling Demonstration Town bumped this up to £10. However, once this programme finishes in April 2011, it is very unlikely that there will be the funds to do anything other than relatively minor work.
In the meantime, back to the good news. The Chisholm Trail is of particular interest to the Campaign and Mike reported that, since the feasibility study had been completed, it would be possible to secure sections of land adjacent to the guided bus route as they become available and build the trail in stages.
There was much amusement as Mike joked about the suitability of the Guided Busway as a cycle route. As it turns out, when the track to Longstanton is closed for resurfacing it will cause problems for the many people who already use the route despite it not being officially open. Clearly, if you build it, they will come!
In turn, there was much relief as we were told that the dreadful chicane barriers that block the lane which leads to Riverside next to Tesco in Newmarket Road are to go at last. Bollards will replace them.
Other points of interest, particularly when we think about the events that happen on Parker’s Piece during the year, are the numbers on bikes across this green space. The County Council funded a survey and over a year the predicted usage, based on the figures from the four days the enumerators were counting, is 1.4 million cyclists and 1.6 million pedestrians. Mike also introduced us to some luminescent discs that have been installed on the Coton footpath. They cost £1 each and are very easy to fit. All they require is a nail to fix them into the tarmac, which is something volunteers could do. Subsequent discussions concluded that, while they sounded like a great idea, they weren’t very effective.
The talk over (it’s available as a podcast on the Campaign website we had the reports from the Committee starting with the usual State of the Union address to his fellow cyclists from Martin Lucas-Smith. He highlighted the events, campaigns and other activity that the Campaign has been involved with over the past year including two Rides for Joy and the iBike bike fair.
Unfortunately, nobody had been found to make an independent audit of the accounts so Chris Dorling appealed for help with this. (Volunteers have since come forward – thank you). The accounts were nevertheless accepted.
Other reports were given and then we went on to the formal business of electing a new committee. Now we have charitable status, the process had to change. There was a bit of confusion as we tried to work out how many people had been proposed for the posts available. In the end, though there were nine standing for the seven General Campaigner roles, two candidates having previously indicated their intent to withdraw if that meant new members could be on the Committee. So no voting was needed, which I was mildly disappointed about, oddly. But we had the prospect of the Maypole to cheer us up so the chairs were swiftly stacked and the traditional dash to grab a pint began.