What I wanted for this blog post was to be positive and cheerful and all flag wavey for cycling and cycling facilities in Cambridge, and I wanted to be rather a giggly fan-boy at Greater Anglia and the new cycle park. I don't want to be overly negative here, I mean they're about to open the CyclePoint bike locking park which will be cool. 3000 spaces? Much better than we've had there before, even though for some reason they want us to take our bicycles up stairs (I mean, seriously, why get so close to giving us a great facility and then screw the pooch like that?).
But I suppose it was too much to ask of Greater Anglia that they don't go out of their way to screw this up. Seriously, all they've got to do is open the new facility and put signs up saying that in a couple of weeks the old one will be closed so shift your bikes - you know, give people who maybe cycle once or twice a week to get used to the idea, maybe give those who've gone off on holiday a chance. But no, that'd be too simple.
Here's a bit of their press release which was, I gather, embargoed until this morning and subsequently shared by Al from Cambridge Cycling Campaign:
So this is how @greateranglia are going to turn the opening of Cambridge CyclePoint into a farce pic.twitter.com/H3ti9Ymw95
— Al (@Al__S) February 1, 2016
They're putting some flyers out in the hope that people see them, but if you lock your bike up there on the 15th having missed that news they'll take your bike away. So on the day it opens you've got to use the multi-storey or they'll break your chain and take your bike away.
Whats that you ask? Why don't they leave the temporary bike park open for, say, a week, with signs in place pointing at the new one and a date and time to shift to the new facility? Wouldn't that be a great way to make sure that they don't end up looking like spiteful loonies, you know, not having a go at the occasional cyclists who will have missed the message, or the folk who maybe cycle a couple of times a week who just don't know?
Well the simple answer is because Greater Anglia are showing us that they don't want to avoid conflict with cyclists. They're up for a barney - they don't respect their customers, and if those customers are also cyclists they positively resent us.
So please, Greater Anglia, I'm sure you'll see this - show some flaming common sense. Or if you can't do that just accept that you should demonstrate common courtesy and leave both bike parks open for, say, a fortnight. Its good business sense and its good publicity.
Or are you actively looking to alienate your customers?