|Great North Road - not so great|
Guess what? Pavement cycling and personal stories of it dominated their agenda. They were totally blinded by it. An "I-am-a-CTC-member" woman disproportionately hogged air time with her "all cyclists belong on the road" propaganda. Judging by the Elders Council newsletter Cllr Nigel Todd put in a great voice for cycling and cyclists previously. Even so, this Elders Council newsletter states
"anyone riding on the pavement (unless it is a designated shared path) is breaking the law"and disturbingly concludes with
"P.S. Have you checked where your grandchildren ride their bikes?"suggesting that even children should cycle on the road under all circumstances.
The answer to this of course is that it's about better delineated space and space clarity, we did try to explain just that. With space at a premium, and safe space even more so, it is road space that must be taken away from driving and parking. Not the other way round... space taken from pedestrians like it was done on Newcastle's Brighton Grove and is now planned for Fenham Hall Drive. So wrong!
When sending this roadcc link to my contact at the Elders Council four months later (September 2012) the answer was "You didn't try to chat to Elders Council, you did talk with us; it was a lengthy exchange of viewpoints I'd say!" Non-committal. Rather unclear. And. Quite English. In December 2012 I tried again and sent this academic's look at pavement cycling, by Dave Horton. And received no reply.
Newcastle Cycling Campaign will of course continue working with Newcastle's Youth Council to hopefully speak to the Elders Council again in a more positive and informed setting.
Until THAT meeting takes place however - be very assured, that the wise folks at the Newcastle Elders Council want your kids to cycle on the carriageway of a 40mph road. Like the one pictured above where strangely, parents are wary. And children therefore cycle on the pavement.
Or not at all. And child obesity sores.
Let's call the Elders Council 'thoughtless' for the time being.