We closed our letter with to each councillor with three questions: 1 – whether they support Dynamo in its campaign for a better provision for cyclists along the A6 south, 2 – to confirm that when the Jacobs consultancy report is finally published they will scrutinise it for its significance for cyclists along the route, and 3 – to ensure that the document is not accepted if it fails in considering all road users of the A6, not just motorised vehicles. We also offered the opportunity to meet up to discuss these issues further.
Susie Charles (Lancaster Rural East) did not respond to our earlier attempts to contact her, which hugely disappointed Dynamo as she is the elected representative for an area that we believe would hugely benefit from improving cycling facilities (especially after the previous focus on the city centre). Anyhow this time Cllr Charles responded almost immediately. Here is her full correspondence:
Thank you for your email below. This confirms that I shall read thoroughly the Jacobs report when it is printed. In the meantime, however, I have forwarded your email to the relevant cabinet member.
Cabinet Member for Children & Schools
County Councillor for Lancaster Rural East
Lancaster City Councillor for Ellel Ward
L Phone: +44 (0) 1772 537577
Mobile/SMS: +44 (0) 07917627334
+ Fax: +44 (0) 1772 538082
+ Address: PO Box 78, County Hall, Preston, PR1 8XJ
Now as you can perhaps imagine, whilst it was good to finally hear from Cllr Charles, we would like some clarification on most of the questions we asked her. In particular in a week when safety has come to the fore in the national agenda, it is important to see our local councillors recognising and driving forward support for cycling. As Dynamo awaits her more considered response to our follow-up email, we currently want to interpret her brief reply as a sign that she is a busy councillor with a lack of time rather than a lack of interest:
Dear Cllr Charles,
Thank you for your swift response. However, it remains unclear whether
you support Dynamo’s campaign for continuous cycling provision along
the A6 from Lancaster to Galgate. Furthermore it remains unclear
whether as you read the Jacobs report you will reject and argue
against the document if it fails to support the development of cycling
facilities along A6, not just motorised vehicles. Please could you
confirm these details for us, thank you.
As Dynamo have regularly pointed out, dedicated cycle lanes on this
critical transport link would do much to reduce traffic
congestion and help the County meet most of the seven transport
priorities it sets out in the 2011 Local Transport Plan: i.e. to meet
its carbon emissions targets, improve access to education and
employment, improve safety, and provide safe, reliable, convenient and
affordable transport alternatives to the car – and of course promote
the health of local citizens.
Should you wish to discuss this further with individuals such as Hugh
Tuffen (whose accounts in our last letter demonstrate the potentially
terrible experiences of A6 cycling) Dynamo would again offer
facilitate your meeting with Dynamo members.
Robert Lowe, Lancaster and Morecambe Dynamo