Once upon a time (on 21 November 2011) Dynamo was invited to a consultation event on Lancashire’s new Cycling Strategy. Perhaps made giddy by the upcoming Olympic Games, the 2011 draft focused on cycling for sport and seemed to have quite forgotten that some people use their bikes to go to work or to the shops rather than leap onto a podium. Somehow, that cycling strategy never quite got finished. We’d hate to think that Dynamo’s hatchet job had anything to do with it.
Lancashire County Council is now in the process of consulting for a new county-wide cycling and walking strategy. On Friday afternoon, Patricia (she really has nothing better to do) attended a meeting with County officers, cycle campaigners from other districts and John Davies from Jacobs consultants, who are tasked with producing the strategy. Practically nothing was given away about what will be in the strategy apart from the headlines: People, Promotion and Place. It looks as if it will be a document to bid for money under the government’s new Access Fund. Under these circumstances, it is good that the County is being proactive, but you can’t help but yearn for the days when Lancaster City Council put together its own cycling strategy that took particular local conditions into account and managed to find the funding for some of its aspirations. How can one document possibly encompass the cycling and walking needs of a large county with big differences in topography, employment opportunities, demographics, cultural attitudes to cycling, etc., etc?
Anyway, Blackburn campaigner, Robin Field, produced a list of important notes. To that Dynamo would add:
- good quality off-road infrastructure is the only way to entice “new” people onto cycles;
- road space should be taken away from private motor vehicles and given to walking and cycling, otherwise you end up with Milton Keynes.
On behalf of Dynamo, Patricia stated that the Heysham off-road route was the thing we would most like to see happen.
Watch this space.