|Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club|
Dear fellow members and friends
Fred attended the Special Cycle reps meeting – see his report below.
It's time to consider what we want to do for our Christmas get-together. Last year we met on Saturday 11 December for lunch at the Swan at Falmer. I'm quite happy for us to do likewise this year; it was easy to get to both by bike and by bus and we didn't have to wait for new legislation to get a smoke-free atmosphere. But you might have other ideas. If so, let me know by Friday 25 November at the latest – with full details please!
The Next Rides
Berwick – Bo-Peep – Old Coach – Firle – Ripe – Golden Cross – Chalvington – Berwick
Sue, Tracey, Joyce, Ian and Fred ready for any weather!
Onto the Old Coach Road
The Old Coach Road
Encounter with ramblers on the edge of the Firle Place estate
The John Piper window, representing the tree of life, plus Sir John Gage and his wife
Joyce at St Peter's church, Firle
Ian, Joyce and Tracey leaving The Lamb
For this meeting I deputised for Ian. The world of politics is a newish one for me, and a different world it is, full of acronyms and awards, a parallel universe it seems from my daily rides from A to B around Brighton looking for somewhere to hitch my bike! First off, Brighton has been shortlisted for two awards at the ATOC [Association of Train Operating Companies] National Cycle-Rail Awards [www.cyclerailawards.com]. First is for 'Station of the Year', specifically the newly refurbished London Road station, my local, which seemed a bit odd as Becky from Bricycles pointed out – you can't get from one platform to the other without having to negotiate lots of steps over the (new) footbridge or under the (old) subway. Second nomination is for 'Best Local Government Contribution' (that'll be our Joyce then). Results will be announced on 8 November. I gather that the subtext of all this is that we get to engage with Southern Rail about our other niggles.
Next agenda item was about art, but perhaps not as we know it. Madeira Drive has been earmarked for next year's Car Free Day on 22 September, with amongst other things, a 'Bike Ballet'. Then we came to the main item of the evening, Brighton (or rather Brighton west of and including London Road, and Hove) becoming a Cycling Demonstration Town and all that lovely government money to spend – that'll be down to our Joyce again. The six selected towns were: Aylesbury, Brighton, Darlington, Derby, Exeter and Lancaster. The City of Brighton and Hove was apparently too big to qualify, hence the award to West Brighton and Hove.
This is where it gets complicated. My understanding is that we will receive an annual DfT grant of £500,000 over the next three years administered by Cycling England [www.cyclingengland.co.uk] and the City Council will match this funding each year, totalling a £3 million investment in cycling over the next three years. Dean Spears, the Cycling and Walking Officer, hinted that this may be extended to four years leading up to 2009, designated the Year of Walking and Cycling, for which £4M will be allocated over the two financial years 2008-9 and 2009-10.
Details on how the money will be spent are still a bit vague. For Year 1, which began on 1 November this year, the £500k from the DfT will be divided up as: £195k for an 'outstanding European-guided engineering and Copenhagen-style bicycle account', which I understood to mean improving the Hove to Hangleton cycle route to a high standard, and perhaps doing 'amazing things' with a junction; £160k on personal travel planning; £40k on a Beacon Cycle Training Centre; £60k on two new members of staff to support Dean; and £45k on a 'High-profile walking and cycling Chartermark', which involves bringing in branding experts and designing a logo. The Council's matching £500k has already been allocated to on-going projects. Finally, as a follow up to Ian's last reps report, Dean said that he has had talks with the police about enforcing cycle lane parking transgressions. I also picked up a huge tome that is the Local Transport Plan 2006/7-2010/11, so if anyone wants a look, let me know.
As a PS, London Road did win the Station of the Year award, jointly with Ely, and Brighton & Hove Council was Highly commended in the Best Local Government Contribution category (West Sussex County Council took the first prize) at the ATOC National Cycle-Rail Awards in London on Tuesday 7 November 2005. Derek Twigg said: 'It's extremely encouraging to see so many examples of improved facilities for cyclists across the rail network. Interest in cycling is high amongst commuters, which is why we've supported cycle parking and CCTV at over 100 stations and leisure users are also benefiting from our investment'. ATOC Director General, George Muir said: 'It is ATOC's aim to make rail easier to use for cyclists. In doing so, the industry can offer an acceptable and healthy alternative to the car'.