Thursday 10 July 2008

The agenda for cycling and walking

It’s always an enlightening experience reading Council committee agendas (available at the Town Hall or in larger libraries). Tonight the ‘Transport Liaison Consultative Group’ meets. This committee which brings together local groups and individuals interested in transport issues, with eight councillors. The committee has no power to make policy and is essentially toothless. Judging by the list of organisations and individuals listed as being in attendance at the last meeting, only those with an interest in public transport turn up.

Item 43 on tonight’s agenda is ‘Cycling & Walking’. My hackles immediately rise at the category. Cycling and walking are two quite different means of mobility, with different interests and needs. I never trust any organisation which lumps them together. It invariably signifies that there is little interest in either transport mode, so they can be lazily lumped together and quickly and smoothly disposed of.

And what topics will be up for discussion under this category at tonight's meeting of the ‘Transport Liaison Consultative Group’ ? Any of the innumerable problems for local cyclists and walkers identified on this blog? I’m afraid not. Let me give it to you in full. The whole golden sentence.

The police had been notified of cyclists riding their bikes on pavements and the police would be clamping down on the issue concerned.

And now, next item: Olympic Update.

Footnote. The Chair of the Committee is Cllr Bob Wheatley. He is one of the few independent minded councillors left, so if you live locally and want to suggest some topics for discussion under ‘Cycling & walking’ you could always contact him.