The Cities fit for cycling campaign, started by the Times newspaper to improve safety for cyclists in our towns and cities, is commendable. But we still face an uphill battle to get politicians to give this priority when choices have to be made that impact on car drivers.
York received £3.8m government funding during 2008-11 to develop our cycle network, including a new ‘orbital route’ linking key cross town routes with safe crossings of radial routes. We have just secured another £4.6m of Local Sustainable Transport Funding (LSTF) to do more good work in the Northern part of the city.
However, in spite of this, the incoming Labour council that took control last May is pledged to remove a key section of cycle lane forming part of the orbital route at the Clifton Green junction. This is in spite of a recent consultation in which 60% of responses favoured leaving the current layout compared with 40% split between two ways of reintroducing a narrow left turn traffic lane. All three emergency services have said they prefer the existing layout as safer for cyclists and easier for them when responding to emergencies at peak times.
Copenhagen and Netherlands didn’t become cycle friendly overnight, it took political courage and vision – courage and vision which our councillors seem to lack.
Cllr Andy D’Agorne