Wednesday 4 January 2017

The Not-Cross-City cycle route. That isn't.

So we're about to get a cross city cycle route, according to the newspaper headline. Only, we're not. At all. Even a bit. 

Seriously, its hard to express just how misleading this headline is. The 'project' isn't one. Its a disparate set of semi-improvements to some bits of road, but not sufficient to make anyones journey sufficiently better to encourage them to cycle. This is fluff, and labeling it as a cross city route goes beyond careless and is in truth outright deception.

Take the Arbury Road scheme. Its crap. There is a plan to ignore a very quiet immediately adjacent road right next to it, on which an Arbury Road cycle route could be constructed very cheaply, and instead quite possibly tear out one of the few remaining old hedges of Kings Hedges (which unlike specimen trees is a rich habitat for diverse wildlife) to give us cycle route on about half of the length of the road - so if you want to ride a bike safely from Orchard Park to the Beehive Centre (a major shopping and employment location) you're fucked. This links up to quiet back streets (read: going miles out of your way - so you either won't go that way or won't cycle) that MIGHT take you somewhere near the city centre, but its absolutely useless if you're heading towards the improved Chisolm Trail (itself a distraction). This is evidence that cycling gets little more than lip service - the County want pretty pictures of nice cycle routes to show the press that they give a damn but they're not in the slightest bit interested in making journeys sufficiently safe or pleasant enough to encourage more people on to bikes. Want to do this more cheaply and more effectively? Use the Nicholson Way option and extend the cycle route down the whole length of Arbury Road - someones right to park a car on the road doesn't trump my right to ride safely, and if you think it does you're the antithesis of everything that is good about humanity. Dear County Council - give us a cycle route down the whole length of Arbury Road or you're just playing games, there is no value to doing this badly.

The whole 'scheme' is a bunch of piece meal 'improvements' that aren't enough to get anyone on to bikes, cynically and disgracefully re-packaged as if they're a coherent whole. 

Got a little bit of sick coming up into the back of my throat even trying to think down tot the level of the County Council here. 

I call upon Camcycle to call this what it is - a farce designed to distract us while City Deal and County money is squandered on crap we don't want. 

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