What’s next for Cycle Safe? Question 2

Local councillors and local government representatives have the final say on how money is spent in their area; how do we reach them and convince them this is important?

This is one of seven questions that people were asked at June’s Street Talk. The responses below are unedited and in no particular order. We’d welcome further comments/suggestions – comments will close on 2nd July.

  • Remind them they can ‘tick so many boxes’ by investing in cycling : health, air quality, obesity, air quality, transport numbers, economy, better public spaces, climate change
  • Ask them to lead 10 children on a cycle-ride across the borough. If they are not comfortable the problem is not solved
  • Getting readers to keep writing/e mailing councillors/political reps
  • Getting people to support cycling in the first place should automatically make it an issue councillors want to take on board.
  • Make sure focus is always on enabling their population (electorate) to benefit from using bicycles, NOT about (existing) cyclists
  • Cost benefits of cycling/walking -reduced NHS bills, potholes, more local shopping
  • Survey your readers about safety in each area and ‘name and shame’ the worst and praise the best
  • Politicians care about their relative standing, so produce league tables of casualty rates and subjective safety
  • Learn from mayor of Mexico city – make them cycle to work once a month
  • Look at the benefits of other road users too, particularly walkers, safety of kids etc.
  • They worry about not getting re-elected so run stories , persuade them that they can encourage cycling for the benefit of their electorate without losing votes
  • Name and shame bad design and engineering companies
  • Give them solutions- help them
  • Convince councils that cycling is central to delivering liveable cities and is in their economic interest – note current decline of traditional town centres
  • Refer to their strategic objectives I.e. sustainability, high street regeneration and ensure this linked to why cycling is important to help.-yes cycling needs to be seen as ‘strategic’, this helps empower councillors to challenge demand for e.g. Parking
  • Suggest that all interventions are not costly. ‘except cyclist’ signs under every ‘no entry’ sign is cheap as chips or should be.
  • Prove by example
  • Steal it
  • If your street goes 20 mph we will cut council tax by 2% because we know that money will be saved!
  • Residential car parking is always a heated debate. More cycling will ultimately help in this regard.
  • Name and shame bad councils – seems to have worked in Waltham Forest. Public embarrassment the only way to get past the complacency (and corruption frankly) of many rotten boroughs, of all stripes, where councillors have jobs for life.
  • Get them to cycle through identified hotspots and explain how these locations could be made more people-friendly.
  • Corporate man slaughter
  • Attention to Dutch protests of 60s/70s demanding cycle improvements – improvements possible with political will.
  • Cyclists spend 10-15% more in shops – +ve for local economy
  • More protests/media pressure
  • Cycle friendly streets encourage more frequent shopping. High streets benefit
  • Simply list pros of cycle friendly environments
  • Point out that it will encourage people to shop local(ish)
  • Spending on making toads safe for cycling improves hem for pedestrians, older people, children, public transport users – most of the population
  • Get them out on bikes in their local areas
  • Don’t. Use local government to enforce standards and make sure local government does things properly
  • Economic benefits of reducing traffic/increasing bikes in local areas/towns/cities
  • Talk about poor choices especially wasted money
  • Point out that it’s the only way to solve their parking problems
  • When there is a death, single them out!
  • Use legislation that is there – prove we know what it is and how to hold them accountable to it
  • Select one ward to ‘Go Dutch’ and see what happens
  • Invite them (or even pay them) to book on David Hembrow’s cycling study tour Drenthe, The Netherlands. Next tour September.
  • Events like Skyride show how popular cycling is, especially for kids and families when a safe space is provided. Politicians under-estimate how much support there is for cycling.
  • Allow children (as the next generation) to speak directly to politicians/policy makers about how the current design/management of streets inhibits their freedom, makes them less active, independent, etc [intergenerational justice issue]
  • Explain how streets safe for kids to cycle = less pressure on public transport
  • More cycles and fewer cars means the roads suffer less damage and cost less to repair
  • Cost : benefit ratio – best value is walking and cycling
  • Get them on to bikes
  • Walking and cycling are different. Therefore no shared pavements
  • Section 106 and Community Infrastructure Levy – but other cash flow needed
  • Norman Baker has given a directive to all councils to improve cycling but NO funding. On already squeezed budgets this is not seen as a priority
  • Challenge them to tour their area by bike
  • Cost of obesity/lack of physical activity e.g. Enfield £58 million a year for obesity
  • Start at the top. Department for Transport models on ‘value’ and ‘economic benefit’ completely ignore people on bikes. A taxi passenger is ‘valued’ at 5x a bike rider! If the DfT changes the valuation = more money for local councils
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One thought on “What’s next for Cycle Safe? Question 2

  1. Pingback: What’s next for Cycle Safe? | Movement for Liveable London

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