Thanks to everyone who attended the AGM. Julian Huppert gave an excellent talk followed by many and varied questions. It was particularly good that so many members stood for election to the Committee, with some of the posts contested in our newly restructured Committee.
I am particularly pleased that the former lead post of the Campaign has now been split into three. I was elected as Chair, a post intended to spearhead our strategy. We now have a new Co-ordinator, in the form of Michael Cahn, who has many excellent ideas and from whom I’m sure members will hear much in the coming year. Work on planning will have renewed emphasis thanks to our new Planning Co-ordinator, Shirley Fieldhouse.
All posts were filled, with Lisa Dawson as the Campaign’s new Recruitment Officer, which will hopefully mean an expansion of our membership in the year ahead. Heather Coleman and John Hall join the ranks of the General Campaigners.
The coming year will see many changes in the way our campaigning activity is undertaken, thanks to the new cycle campaign group toolkit project that CycleStreets is working on. It now has a name – Cyclescape – and it will mean that members will find it much easier to get involved in any issues that interest them – without being swamped by other issues that aren’t of interest. We expect to have a full report on this major new initiative in the next Newsletter.
Progress at the station
Many will have noticed lots of changes at the station lately. The reorganisation of the area should, we think, create some opportunities for new cycle parking, albeit in smaller numbers than are needed. But every extra hundred or so stands helps greatly. Jim Chisholm reports on developments later in this Newsletter.
We’ve been talking to various people at the station. The situation has seen renewed emphasis, possibly partly because of our campaign on the ‘FixMyTransport’ website. Already this has by far the most signatories across the hundreds of public transport-related issues nationally on that site.
Some people think that the abandoned bikes are the cause of the problem at the station. These are already being cleared regularly, and National Express and OWL Bikes have a good system in place. But even the best clearance regime really will barely scratch the surface given the level of demand for cycle parking. What is needed is more stands. The situation has got so bad that some (totally inconsiderate) cyclists have even been seen attaching cycles to a new wheelchair ramp – which we totally condemn, though we think that it should be properly labelled ‘Wheelchair ramp: no cycle parking’.
We hope that with a Dutch company, Abellio, now taking over the franchise, we may see a more Dutch approach to cycle parking provision at the station.
Martin Lucas-Smith, Chair