Sunday, 18 November 2012

Dear Santa, I want Cycling England back

It was by no means perfect, but Cycling England was a wedge in that DaFT door, a useful thorn in their side bleeding the inner workings of that ministry of its oily fluids. A little overhaul. Like a medicinal leach.

It was meant to grow and create green healthy life(style) of its own. For everybody.

When the cycle quango was axed by the ConDems it was a malicious act confining cycling back to the Dungeon of the Dark Ages. Drivers, rejoice, you overcame! "End the war on the motorist" and suchlike. Harrumph, harrumph. Yes, Hammond MP, you were wonderfully DaFT. And they have now allowed you to play with other "real" weapons elsewhere in the ConDem government. So God help us.

We were then presented - tada - with the "National Cycle Stakeholder Forum". Hurrah! Through my MP I found out some detail.The original letter to DaFT dated April 2012 was conveniently lost by the ministry of oh-so-silly-walks (get you!) and we only received an answer (including apology) a few days ago. The reply was not even answering all the questions (and I will ask my MP to kindly point that out to DaFT).

Anyways. Thing is this, isn't it:

The "National Cycle Stakeholder Forum" is a green shoot of growth. It now needs thorns and teeth. Can they understand - as Cycling England did - that we have to stop talking softly-softly measure, and get to the hard stuff at the centre?

And quick.

I hope Philip Darnton sits on it! Does he? He, of all people, should. He's got the pedal passion, political cycle campaign instinct, and really knows the stuff. Hard hitting, and truthful.

Then again. There are some very limp biscuits on that forum, dunking donuts at the Bakery. Softly softly does it? Nopes, not any more, Baker MP.

The Time(s) move on!

I want real cycleways, for real people. Dedicated safe space where speed is 30mph and over, by all means shared when under (actual speeds - not speed limits that is!), preferential treatment at crossings and side roads, and mode integration with public transport too.

And I don't care about the nudge approach, not one iota. This nation has been trying to talk people into cycling for long enough. It's embarrassing. Stop it! We are a laughing stock. Butt joke. No cycle nation has ever been seen to spring from "encouraging" bums on saddle. And all the behavioural change b*llocks that comes with it.

We need real change.

It's time to take from motorists what isn't theirs, and give it to the more deserving modes.


More Love Cycling Go Dutch talks here

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