Lancaster Square Routes project

Another long letter string to swell your hear with joy at the processes of local government. The Lancaster Square Routes project  ‘aims to rejuvenate the important historic city centre of Lancaster, strengthening its position as a quality destination both for visitors and residents of the district’. Part of it’s goal is the creation of a ‘city park’ that will be a flagship greenspace for Lancaster with the following objectives:

  • Build upon the city’s cycleways, walkways and natural resources – rivers, coast and country
  • Use locally sourced, sustainable materials and groundbreaking new technology
  • Encourage the whole community to get involved and take ownership of the park
  • ‘Green’ the city centre by introducing trees, lawn and innovative planting in key spaces

Dynamo wrote to Councillor Janice Hanson with the modest (extremely modest by Dynamo’s standards!) proposal that cycling be allowed in the city centre pedestrian areas at the same time as motorised delivery vehicles – i.e. before 9.30 a.m. and after 5 p.m. – for the trial period of Square Routes. The same proposal was also supported at the Lancaster Cycle Forum, and seems an obvious and easy way to ‘build-on the city’s cycleways’.

We received a short reply back from Cllr Hanson saying that our proposal will be given consideration. We should have known better…

Since then we have discovered that this proposal has not been taken on board, even for a trial period. Furthermore it particularly riles that we had to find this out from third parties rather than being told by the individuals that we contacted. And of course, we’ve been given no indication of what ‘consideration’ our proposal had, or the reasons for its rejection. We are still waiting for a response to our follow-up query. And so the local democratic process rolls on…

For those who have the stomach to read on, the letters are presented in reverse order:

Saturday, November 10, 2012 3:47 PM

Subject: Re: Lancaster City Centre Square Routes project

Dear Councillor Hanson,

Dynamo wrote to you in April (copy below) regarding the review of traffic in Lancaster city centre pedestrian area.  As you can see, we suggested that cycling should be permitted in the area at the same time as delivery vehicles in order to provide a commuter cycle route outside business hours.

We understand that the experimental order which will shortly come into force does not include any relaxation of the current restrictions for cycling. 

It is disappointing that the Council is unwilling to open up the city centre in this way even for a trial period.  We would be interested to learn of the group’s reason for rejecting our suggestion and the thinking behind it that decision. 

We look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

Patricia Clarke for Dynamo (Lancaster & District Cycle Campaign)

—- Original Message —–

Sent: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 8:57 AM

From: Hanson, Janice (Cllr)

Subject: Re: Lancaster City Centre Square Routes project

Dear Ms. Clarke

We. Will give your proposal consideration thank you for your email
Kind regards
Janice
From: dynamo lancaster and district cycle campaign
Sent: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 09:39 PM
To: Hanson, Janice (Cllr)

Subject: Lancaster City Centre Square Routes project
Dear Councillor Hanson

Dynamo notes that the City Council is current examining the future management of traffic in the city’s pedestrian zone.

Could we suggest that the Council permits cycling in the city centre at the same time as delivery vehicles – i.e. before 9.30 a.m. and after 5 p.m. – for the proposed trial period?  This would end the strange anomaly that one cannot legitimately cycle through the pedestrian area when is it largely quiet, and demonstrate if a permanent removal of the ban is feasible.  We appreciate that there are new cycle lanes on the one-way system and these are very welcome, but the pedestrian zone out of hours remains a viable cycling route.

I am thinking in particular of a colleague who has recently started cycling to work from Morecambe to Lancaster University.  She is perfectly happy from Morecambe to the Millennium Bridge, and from Aldcliffe Road canal towpath to the University, but the city centre fazes her.  Allowing her, and others like her, to cycle through the pedestrian zone at 8.30 a.m. and back at 6.00 p.m. does not seem unreasonable.

We hope the project group will give serious consideration to this proposal.

Yours sincerely

Patricia Clarke

for Dynamo

cc:    Councillor Tim Ashton, Lancashire County Council

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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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One Response to Lancaster Square Routes project

  1. Pingback: United Utilities and the Big Dig | lancasterdynamo

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