Review of Dynamo’s AGM 14-11-12

One member’s review of the Dynamo AGM:

What did we learn about the prospects for cycling in the district by the time  Alasdair Simpson, guest speaker from Lancashire County Council’s Sustainable Transport Division,  had finished his power point review at Dynamo’s AGM, last Wednesday, at the Gregson?

County’s cycling officer generated  a rather complacent attitude to future developments. He suggested that cycling would flourish in the district simply  because of the momentum gained from our CDT status years , when cycling levels did increase, and that future interventions are of little consequence. A sort of ‘benign neglect theory’ you might say, but one for which he offered no evidence.

Members who asked Alasdair to declare his commitment to such  projects as cycle lanes on the A6 were to be sadly disappointed. On specific answers to questions about the A6, such as  the removal of parking bays installed by the county 10 years ago, to accommodate cycle lanes, his response was  that it would upset residents and be politically controversial.  There is no legal obligation for County to provide them and at odds with County’s ‘alternatives to the car’ and ‘decarbonising the economy’ strategic aims in its LTP.

Perhaps the most disturbing news to  emerge out of the question and answer slot though, was the way the County Council
operates against the aims of the cycling lobby.

From the floor,  one County councillor told us  that in her 3plus years at County she had not received a single
briefing on cycling matters, from Alasdair Simpson  or any other county officer.  Alasdair, our cycling officer, did not see this as part of his remit.

On the question of elected councillors ignorance levels on sustainable matters, she  also revealed that at a recent briefing on wind power by officers only five out of 80 politicos turned up.

As Dynamo  has suspected for a long time  County’s  Highways division  is run by officers who serve their own, largely car accommodation, agenda and promote road
schemes, and that  basically, is it. Its  10 years of stubborn, irrational resistance to 20mph speed limits is a case in point. Then along comes Tim Ashton and hey presto….  .

So. The power of this self-serving bureaucracy of officers is enabled by a largely ignorant, and  happy-to-be-so group of councillors.

Consequently, Dynamo and other  authority cycling lobby groups are  somewhat stymied by this malfunctioning idiocracy.

However, to end positively, following up our recent ‘A6 road danger’ approach, based on Dr Hugh Tuffen’s despatches from the A6 war zone, Dynamo intends to table a question about the chasmic disconnect between policy and practice over the A6,  at the December Highways meeting.

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About lancasterdynamo

Dynamo is a cycling group, established in 1994, to work with official bodies, other cycling organisations and interested individuals to promote cycling as a safe, enjoyable and healthy means of transport.
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4 Responses to Review of Dynamo’s AGM 14-11-12

  1. Pingback: A6 campaign: Cabinet member for Highways response | lancasterdynamo

  2. missgeorgieo says:

    Depressing eh. I work in education at LCC and it pains me terribly at how poor all things to do with cycling are within the authority. I know for a fact, I’d be sh!t hot in that job, cooking up a storm of positive change. Sadly working for the authority is grinding any sense of upbeat attitude I had, into oblivion.
    I made the mistake at looking at the road safety brief on the website the other day – seems that roads are only changed if there have been fatalities… so people have to die rather than people using their common sense to change things. Our roads were not designed for the volumes of traffic we have – a whole reassessment of speeds and design is well well overdue.
    I’m beyond caring right now. I’m sure that my death will probably be commuting to work, for LCC, who have moved my office twice further & further from where I live, on roads that are literally unsafe for cycling on.
    Oh for my taxes to be spent where I would like…

  3. One of the things we’re looking at at the moment is how there is such a disconnect between their supposed travel plan, that focusses on increasing sustainable transport and decreasing car journeys, and the lack of any a commitment to do that from many councillors or officers (not all I hasten to add, for example the 20mph zones are a great boost – and would be even better if they were over much wider areas and actually enforced). Anyhow, more of the words into action would be very good…

    • missgeorgieo says:

      Didn’t realise that in Scotland they did a Pedal on Parliament. We should do something in England – get all the regional CTCs & random clubs to descend into the big smoke.

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