Sunday 4 January 2015

Looking Forward

Last week's post was a lazy and predictable round up of my 2014 and this week is just as lazy and predictable: things I am looking forward to in 2015.

For those of us in London, we are waiting to see what the outcome of the consultation for the Mayor's North-South and East-West cycle superhighways will bring. I hope they go ahead as consulted, as even with flaws, they are the projects to show what can be done in the UK. I know other places have been quietly getting on with it, but like it or not, the London bubble is high profile and this will really raise the game. Of course, they could be massively watered down and this will be a huge blow.

Closer to home, I am working (with others) on a couple of modest little projects which should at least see the light of public consultation in the next several weeks. For those who know me, they will understand why this is such a hard slog, but as I often say, the small, local wins are just as important as the large in helping to make the bicycle a normal transport mode; make no mistake, it is about infrastructure and changing streets as far as I am concerned. Despite practice from around the world, we just can't seem to push on with things that work here.

I am also going to try and spend more time on walking issues, which was something I spent a fair bit of time looking at before I got interested in cycling infrastructure. Expect to see posts on zebra crossings and shared space in the coming weeks!

We have a general election on 7th May where I hope the chickens come home to roost. It has been 20 years this summer since I left academia and headed off into the world of Civil Engineering; specialising in the highway design and construction in the last decade. An interest in the politics of transport has always been there, but now more than ever. 

We currently have a government which nobody voted for (argue semantics if you like) and who are systematically dismantling our public services and this includes both the public sector and mass transport - and I don't mean private motoring! That is not so suggest that the previous government were that much better and the current opposition has already fallen back on the old "war on the motorist" cobblers because they perceive it to be populist. Interesting times as they say.

I have really enjoyed writing this blog and more recently, my column in Highways Magazine. I am hoping to revisit some of the issues I have written about with the aim of producing some standalone guides which may be useful - there might even be some collaboration to be had - who knows!

I am also working with others on something a little more formal, but can't talk about it just yet - watch this space as ever!

Of course, feel free to suggest topics for blog posts, some of my favourite issues have been suggested by others and it gets my brain working!

Riding my bicycle
Yes, I will be starting my 5th year commuting to work by bicycle on Tuesday. I will also be trying to do as many site visits as possible by bike and I will be getting out to look at new street layouts as often as I am able (they give me lots of blog material of course). I am also looking forward to getting out with my family on 2-wheels in the coming year (logistics depending!).

So, I enter 2015 with optimism (which will probably take a kicking as the clock ticks by). See you in the saddle (and perhaps on foot a little more!) 

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