All entries for June 2006

June 07, 2006

Revolution! Britain embraces the bicycle

Writing about web page

I had started to wonder in recent months whether there were more cyclists on the roads compared to a year or so ago, but according to today's quite incredible Independent front page, we are in the middle of a Revolution:

Independent front Page

Britain is in the grip of a cycling revolution as clogged roads, concern at global warming caused by air pollution and the quest for improved fitness persuade millions to opt for pedal power. After a decade of stagnation in the number of bicycle journeys, new figures show there has been a dramatic leap in commuters and leisure cyclists focused on Britain's cities and the burgeoning network of cycle routes. In London, trips by bike have increased by 50 per cent in five years to 450,000 per day while figures obtained by The Independent show use of the National Cycle Network, covering 10,000 miles of urban and rural pathways, rose last year by 15 per cent to 232 million journeys.

It is argued in the piece that this growth has happened in spite of forms of institutional or government support. I wonder where the University figures as a supporter of cycle commuting to our car clogged location? We're in the middle of a 20 million development of the Business School at present and, as far as I can tell, not one single penny of that is to be devoted to the provision of basic facilities to support cycling to the building.

Indeed, a quick glance through the material about this on the university website for staff indicates that, when we undertake new developments, "the local planning authorities require the University to develop a transport framework which includes a variety of serious measures to reduce car use and promote alternative forms of transport." Given the absence of any plan for even basic cycle parking facilities around this our newest building, it appears that we can willfully ignore such 'requirements'.

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