Update on Feb 2013 Cycling Tynedale Newsletter
Dear Cycling Tynedale supporter,
1. Thanks to Christine Hewitt, our new website is now up and running. It is a start and we hope it will grow from strength to strength: www.cyclingtynedale.org/
2. We really need a volunteer to take over the admin from the current temporary provider to allow him to be more active where his skills can be used more effectively. Duties are:
Keeping a list of supporters, sending out the minutes after meetings, sending out welcome emails to new supporters who get in touch. This is not an onerous job so do please volunteer if you have a little spare time you could devote to this.
3. Our next structural task is to create an identity for Cycling Tynedale with a logo etc.
4. Our next priority is to encapsulate our priorities and approach key politicians for meaningful discussions.
5. Recent developments:
a) A very positive meeting has taken place with National Trust to discuss opportunities for developing cycling opportunities in the Tyne Valley to and around National Trust sites. Cycling is now a national priority for the Trust.
b) A meeting has been arranged to discuss Health funding for cycling with the NCC County Councillor Health portfolio holder – he is a cyclist
c) A meeting has been arranged with Visit Northumberland to discuss how cycle tourism can be better co-ordinated
d) Chaired by our area NCC Rights of Way officer, Tyne Valley MTB club recently met with Prudhoe Path Force and agreed that two cycle maps would be produced centred on Prudhoe – one free map showing two easy routes and one ‘to buy’ map with 7 Do-in-a-day MTB routes for all abilities. Funding is partly in place but more is being sought.
e) The joint funding bid to two LEADER areas for the proposed 100 mile Sandstone Way MTB route between Berwick on Tweed and Hexham has passed technical appraisal but a subsequent extremely brief and unhelpful email said that all local funding had been allocated but any spare funds from other areas might be allocated to this project. It took in excess of 200 hours to construct this funding bid and this response is far from satisfactory. The plan now is to seek external sponsorship as this route is ready to open once the necessary processes have been completed.
6. GOOD NEWS! Several new opportunities for funding and for prioritising cycling have been announced recently: [See FINALLY on page 2]
7. Chris Boardman asks you to sign the petition to put cycling awareness in the driving test. Sign the Petition here to change the driving test to embed cycling awareness into it is gathering momentum. We're asking ALL cyclists to get involved. Chris Boardman said "It’s common sense, we should make sure that all new drivers are taught how to be careful around cyclists."
The petition currently has over six thousand signatures. The changes which British Cycling is asking for on the practical test and the theory test are detailed here (pdf download) - you may also want to read the full Road Safety Manifesto (pdf download). Please take a couple of minutes to sign the petition. Thank You.
8. A reminder from supporter Sue Hick that the excellent and cost saving ‘bike to work scheme’ can be found on http://www.bike2workscheme.co.uk/
9. Please see the latest posting on the cycling blog - http://blog.transitiontynedale.org/
10. Concerned about cyclist being seen by drivers? This is worth watching…….
11. If you are interested in mountain biking or want to find out more about what is going on or planned for the Tyne Valley area and beyond or just support the work the club does for mountain biking, please join Tyne Valley MTB club – www.tynevalleymtb.org
12. We at Cycling Tynedale accept that at a previous Hexham Town Council meeting, the councillors that did not vote to support the motion to fund the next stage of the Hexham Town Visioning Plan are not unsupportive of the Town Plan but merely that they need to see the draft Plan first, at the end of March when promised, and require more information as to how further funding would be spent, before they are in a position to vote for any further funding.
Cycling Tynedale is preparing a number of recommendations in regard to cycling for the Town Plan. Being optimists, we will do what we can to support this much needed initiative.
“The total funding package recently announced to be spent on cycling infrastructure works out at less than £1 per head of population per year. The Dutch spend £25 per head per year and have been doing so for decades. We need to get THAT level of funding to get Britain cycling” Martin Gibbs, British Cycling’s director of policy and legal affairs.
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