Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Sign & Vote (Please!)

Short post this week with me asking if my readers would consider signing a really important petition and vote to give recognition to a Lottery-funded walking and cycling project.

First, we have a Government e-petition calling for the implementation of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group Report "Get Britain Cycling". The convention is that if a petition gets 100,000 signatures, it is considered for a debate in Parliament.

I know I have posted about this a couple of times, but it is really important we keep the pressure on as sadly, the Government have been quite dismissive so far and in particular David Cameron feels it is best left to local councils to deal with rather than providing any real leadership.

The summary and recommendations of the report can be downloaded here and the petition can  be signed here. At the time of writing there is about 68,000 signatures and so it needs a big push. Please let your friends, family and colleagues know if they currently cycle or would like to cycle.

The second thing is that the National Lottery are running the The National Lottery Awards 2013 Vote. The awards are an annual search to find the UK's favourite Lottery-funded projects. In the "environment" section, there are seven projects vying for the award and among them is the Sustrans Connect 2 project, which has expanded the National Cycle Network over the last 3 or 4 years with emphasis on schemes which deal with physical barriers preventing longer routes from "connecting up".

The Two Tunnels project in Bath, part of the Connect2 project and
the longest cycle tunnel in the UK.
Image from Sustrans.
I will declare an interest as I have been involved with the construction of one of the individual projects (out of around 80 across the UK) and I am a volunteer for the organisation, but it would give recognition to the expansion of the NCN and the work put in by the hundreds of people (if not thousands) who have been involved including Sustrans themselves, landowners, local authorities (including engineers!), volunteers, cycling groups, users, schools - the list goes on.

So, you can look at the environment category here and read more and vote for Connect 2 here. It shows the amount of effort required to improve walking and cycling networks, but it also shows that there is an appetite from the public for better provision as they voted for the scheme to be funded in the first place back in 2007! The projects have helped more people access walking and cycling routes, with many away from traffic. For cycling it has help local areas improve their modal share and hopefully helped to get people to demand more dedicated infrastructure.

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