The Space for Cycling roadshow diary
The Space for Cycling roadshow has officially started! The first stop was Cambridge, where around 50 people came to hear all about Cycling UK's plans to get councils to plan, invest in and build full networks of cycle-friendly infrastructure.
After being in the ‘cycling city’ of Cambridge last Saturday, the Space for Cycling roadshow’s second stop was Birmingham – far better as the UK’s ‘motor city’! Perhaps fired up by a desire to dispose of this reputation, campaigners came from near and far to discuss how we can create Space for Cycling in Birmingham and across the Midlands. We discussed how the new 'metro-mayor' in May 2017 may bring new opportunities for cycling and how best we can utilise the Government's Cycling Ambition Fund for Birmingham.
Our third stop on the Space for Cycling roadshow brought us to Leeds – another city better known for its motorway intersections than its cycling infrastructure. Indeed, we were overlooked all day by a rather ominous A58 flyover – offering a stark reminder of why we need Space for Cycling! By the end of the day it was clear that there are plenty of local campaigners – and politicians – itching to take action!
Diary Entry #4: Edinburgh - 26 November 2016
Stop number four on the Space for Cycling roadshow took us to Edinburgh to catch up with the local collaborative campaign Walk, Cycle, Vote. We had speakers from across various organisations and looked at how different the campaigning context is in Scotland. With the update to Cycle by Design and full council elections coming up in May, the event was particularly timely.
This event featured a look at devolution and the campaigning context across the devolved nations, Crewe attracted campaigners from the English North West and from across North Wales. We looked at the UK Government's Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy as well as the Active Travel (Wales) Act. There was an enormous turn-out of councillors from Cheshire East, and following the event, a motion was submitted to council for Cheshire East to formally support Space for Cycling and to plan, invest and build for cycling.
A wet day in Bristol provided the perfect excuse for avid cyclists to gather indoors and get technical, discussing dropped kerbs and tube maps. Guest speakers included the eminent scholar Steve Melia, who shed some light on his Living Heart of Bristol campaign.
Our Welsh-specific event saw campaigners from across South Wales come together to look in detail at the Active Travel (Wales) Act and how we can make a success of it. The event was well timed to take place shortly before Wales has full council elections in May.
The South West came out in full force for our eighth installation of the Space for Cycling roadshow. Local MP Gary Streeter came along and praised the work being done locally by the Plymouth Cycling Campaign. Although there are frustrations at the lack of cycle provision locally, the event brought together lots of local campaigners and expertise who hatched plans to make 2017 the year of Space for Cycling in the South West.
Our penultimate event took us to the quaint town of Durham in the North East. The event proved a useful theatre for discussion between campaigners at the veteran Newcycling (the Newcastle cycling campaign) and newly forming groups around the North East. Particularly in the spotlight was the Tees Valley area, where a new metro mayor of the Tees Valley Combined Authority will be elected in May.
Our final event took us to the capital, where roughly 70 people came along to talk Space for Cycling with big names like Caroline Russell AM, Cllr Ian Wingfield and Ruth Cadbury MP. We thoroughly enjoyed riding around on the world-class cycle infrastructure that Southwark has to offer around Blackfriars and Elephant & Castle and brainstormed lots of ideas for how we can recreate this success outside of London.