Cycle campaign news December 2020
Cycle campaign news December 2020
Happy new year! As we turn the page on a tumultuous year of ups and downs in our lives as cycle campaigners, we can permit ourselves a slice of cautious optimism. In late spring and early summer 2020, governments encouraged (and even funded) councils to make positive changes, but by late summer and autumn some local authorities (particularly in England) were getting cold feet or even rowing back on their plans. However, independent surveys have shown repeatedly that three times as many people support active travel and cycling interventions than oppose them.
It's worth repeating: despite the impression we get from the media, three times as many people support active travel measures than oppose them.
We must ensure this news is shared far and wide – particularly with councillors and MPs – and take encouragement as we set our ambition for the coming year's cycle campaigning. Let's make it a great one.
Three times as many people support active travel measures than oppose them. Four separate national surveys have demonstrated widespread support for further concrete measures to support cycling and active travel. This timely new report from Cycling UK urges bike-lane planners to be brave.
On 11 December Cycling UK announced that it is seeking urgent legal advice about whether councils’ decisions to remove schemes designed to promote walking and cycling are “unreasonable”. This drastic action follows in the wake of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s removal of a well-used cycle lane on High Street Kensington in London last week, claiming that the lane caused congestion.
2020 was a roller-coaster of a year for everyone, and cycle campaigning was no exception. Dedicated staff in all four nations are leading national campaigns and supporting local campaigners to make a difference. Cycling UK campaigns officer Sophie Gordon highlights the wins you may have missed.
Cycling UK to deliver new safe-driving course in Northern Ireland
Following a successful bid for a slice of the new £87,000 Road Safety Fund, Cycling UK's Driving Road Safety Forward project will produce a short, interactive online course for drivers to promote safe driving practices around people cycling. The course will specifically target close passing, car dooring and drivers' understanding of cyclists' road positioning. Cycling UK will engage with employers throughout NI to promote the course with staff who drive for or as part of their work. The course will be accessible via mobile phone, tablet or computer, reinforcing the message of responsible driving and awareness of vulnerable road users.
Show your local authority in Wales where better infrastructure is needed
In Wales, the Active Travel Act 2013 places a duty on local authorities to make continuous improvements to their cycling and walking networks. Councils are to build on what's already on the ground, and to identify what is needed to join up the networks so that our towns and cities become places where choosing walking and cycling for short journeys makes the most sense. The Welsh government has funded the Commonplace platform so that each local authority has the opportunity to engage with their local communities online to help create an active travel map that better takes in to account local knowledge – as people who live, work and play in an area know what works and what doesn't.
Mapping Britain's most dangerous locations
A free interactive map, CollisionMap, has been launched showing road safety data across Britain. The online map allows users to examine the data by region, council area and postcode and to compare figures for 2019 with 2018. This press release has more background information.
Improving Scottish Road Safety
Our campaigns and policy manager in Scotland, Jim Densham, has provided Cycling UK's response to the Scottish government's consulation on road safety. We strongly advocate for the road-danger reduction approach. This means changing how we think about and carry out road-safety awareness raising and policymaking, so that we focus on identifying and reducing the greatest dangers. This approach can make streets safer, prove they are safer, and achieve the ambitious targets proposed in the Road Safety Framework.
Farming reform in England: public access to land under threat
As the UK government unveils new plans for farming in England after Brexit, access for off-road cycling could be at risk. The changes could bring great environmental benefits by incentivising sustainable land management over intensive production. There could also be potential benefits for public access – but the way things currently stand, Cycling UK is concerned that access won’t be prioritised and will fall by the wayside.
New local campaigner guide: how to meet effectively with your elected representative
As part of Cycling UK's commitment to develop the toolkit available to local cycle campaigners, we have now published a new guide to meeting your elected representative, whether in person or over a video link. It's also available as a link from the Cycle Advocacy Network homepage.
Scotland Climate Change Plan: target to reduce car traffic by 20% by 2030
A recent update to Scotland's Climate Change Plan (2018-32) brings news on a number of policies, and revised targets. The car traffic reduction target seems modest at first glance, but with other national governments – including the Department for Transport in England – still planning for significant increases in traffic, it's worth noting and celebrating, and using this to encourage more ambition elsewhere. Other highlights include:
- an additional £50m to ‘Active Freeways’ which will involve identification and design development of the strategic active travel network, to provide segregated active travel routes on main travel corridors to city and town centres and major trip attractors linking communities throughout Scotland
- a plan to refresh Cycling by Design in 2021-22
Read the latest on the Scottish government website.
Cycle Advocacy Network
If you're already speaking up for cycling in your community, or you're resolving to do so at the start of 2021, see the guides and resources available to the Cycle Advocacy Network
England: Speak up for a cycle powered recovery
Help combat the 'bikelash' by writing to your council to support more measures to enable walking and cycling.
England: Missing links for off-road cycling
Existing off-road paths and tracks have so much potential for traffic-free cycling - but we're not always able to cycle on them. Mark your missing link routes on our map and ask your council to increase access for cycling.