Friday, 8 February 2008

Cycling in the Pedestrian Heart

This month's Cabinet meeting includes a report and recommendations on cycling in the Pedestrian Heart. The report is lengthy and well researched - but the recommendation is a fudge.

I work in Post House Wynd and walk (and cycle) through the Pedestrian Heart several times a day. Apart from the occasional teenage joyrider weaving in and out, I have yet to witness any problems arising from cycling in the PH. Clearly, though, there is a perception, particularly among the elderly and the disabled, that cyclists pose a threat to them.

The Cabinet is being recommended, therefore, that:

(a) The trial period for cycling within the town centre is extended to November 2008.
(b) A Disability Impact Assessment on cycling in the town centre is carried out.
(c) An educational programme on responsible cycling is carried out.
(d) Inter-generational work with older people is carried out on concerns about cycling.

The report states that,
"Stakeholders and other interested parties will be invited to take part in intergenerational
work to assess and address the disparity in perceptions and views between younger and
older people."

Excuse me! How exactly are they going to do that? Get teenage cyclists in a room with a bunch of elderly citizens and "explore their issues"?
More work, more research, more expense, more jargon. Well, at least it looks as if the long term future of cycling in the PH is secure.


miketually said...

Considering how things looked 5 or 6 months ago, it's incredible that this outcome has been achieved.

The anti-cycling comments in the appendix to the report pretty much sum up the opinions of those who would like cycling banned. They're generally ill-informed, and seem to equate "cyclist" with "shoplifter".

One trader claims a cyclist has never bought anything in his shop; how would he know? I know that I don't announce my preffered mode of travel when I make a purchase.

We'll be at the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. It's our AGM on Friday, at which we hope to be celebrating.

miketually said...

It's ironic that it's older peoples' perceptions of cyclists as 'youths' which comes across most in the report as, in the rest of Europe, the two biggest users of bikes are under 15s and over 60s...

miketually said...

Bike Darlington: Cycling in Darlington's Pedestrian Heart - a short report