I’ve somehow got myself onto a list of TRO announcements. This has enabled me to provide feedback to proposed schemes and also get comments from people on the CycleBath email group and the CycleBath Facebook page. However I think it’s important that people know we do this and maybe also add their own comments. Comments need to be in within the next 10 days at the bottom of this post.
In 2011, Sustrans, the council, Don Foster MP, and the Canal & River Trust came together and agreed that the state of the Kennet and Avon Towpath between Sydney Gardens and Bathampton was in such a poor state that funding would be found to upgrade the towpath to a 4 season surface that would last for 15+years.
£135k was found in the council budget and Sustrans had reserved £315k of their core funds for the project. Then in 2012, the UK experienced extreme flooding and the government cut Sustrans core funding to support the development of flood defences.
In 2014 the CRT wrote a planning objection letter to the redevelopment of the Warminster Road MOD site demanding £315k towards maintenance of the towpath as the new bridge across to the towpath would increase footfall on an already busy towpath that was suffering from severe erosion.
Better infrastructure :- Widening all towpaths (where necessary) and upgrading to 4 season surfaces usable all year round.
Better signage :- Clear and prominent shared use signs to be installed across the country where there are concerns raised by local users.
Better behaviour :- A range of initiatives to encourage considerate use of towpaths. These include the CRT’s “Share the space, drop your pace” campaign and the recently developed towpath code of conduct.
There are some people in the community that do not want this repair to go ahead and have started a shock campaign around the idea that the repair will allow cyclists to cycle even faster along the towpath using a rather horrible picture from an inexcusable hit and run incident on a towpath up on the Wigan canal. They want this upgrade stopped at all costs. They like it the way it is as it slowly becomes unusable to all but the most determined users over years to come.
In BaNES we have Partners and Community Together (PACT) meetings. The last one was dominated by people demanding what the police are doing about pavement cycling. The simple answer is to give Cyclists their own space.
There is a picture that has done the rounds recently about a street in Amsterdam comparing the 1970s shot next to one taken recently. It’s subtle to notice, but there is no pavement cycling in the recent picture.
The Tour De France has delivered probably the single best video to underline the need to make cycling a serious transport option. If you are a councillor, MP, or work for a council, you need to spend 5 minutes and watch this video. Then you need to watch it again AND every time you commission a transport/public space project you need to watch it again.
A “call to action” is where we ask people to contact their councillor and/or MP on a specific cycling related matter. It is vitally important that they hear from regular people and not just ‘those Cycle Bath people’. It changes their stance on how important cycle provision is, the way the council allocates cycle infrastructure budgets, and ultimately the way the council officers (planning) see the need for good cycling provision.
All we are asking is for 3 minutes of your time to send the email below. If you want to get more involved then have a look here but copy and send the email below first!