Chair’s New Year Message

Dear Newcastle cycling folks, non-cycling populace and somewhere in-betweeners

We at the Newcastle Cycling Campaign wish you all the very best for 2011; may it be a successful and rewarding year for you and your friends & family.

2010 – looking back

The year 2010 saw the safe-cycling-in-Newcastle petition being handed over to Newcastle City Council and the formation of the Newcastle Cycling Campaign. The campaign was founded to counteract the consistently and long-standing dire performance by our council on cycling matters, and to steer it towards a cycle-friendly place: by word and deed and with a clear vision for a people-friendly Newcastle. Over the last months, we have had various meetings – influencing and educating. Some successful, others less so. But it’s all good: we now know where everyone stands. And we can build on that.

2011 – looking forward

We will continue our fact-finding mission in 2011, collecting the evidence for cycling. Information’s not always easy to come by. But we – as a critical friend – will continue to build relationships with the council. Clearly, we will not always be liked, but our common ground is to make cycling safe, convenient and dare we say pleasant, as well as getting more people to saddle up.

In the end, we all wish for a city that puts people at the very heart.

Making walking and cycling the easy option is key to that vision. And incidentally this is the council’s aim too. So why does our council find it so difficult to make it reality? In 2011, let us find out! The Newcastle Cycling Campaign has a vision in which we truly believe. We know that it’s right to campaign for a civilised city centre easy to get around by foot and bike, and we know it can be done. It’s worth putting time and effort into persistence and bridge-building. It will pay off in the long run.

In 2011 we hope to see new people to take up cycling(make it your new year resolution, it’s healthy and cheaper than the gym) and cycling folks to cycle even more, so that we can really begin to feel the safety-in-numbers effect on our city roads. Evidence shows that the more people cycle, the safer it gets.

Evidently in 2011 we also hope to see more people join the campaign, as this means a more powerful network. We want to be the voice of local cyclists – power in numbers! Just imagine a city where it is easy and safe to get around by bicycle. Something we think is worth dreaming of and campaigning for.

Join us to show your support of a Newcastle that puts people and their quality of life first.

We at the Newcastle Cycling Campaign rather wished we would not be needed: once successful with our campaign, once the city centre is a safe, friendly and clean place for cyclists and pedestrians, we can disband. This however is a long time into the future. Until then, we will dream and infuse the movers and shakers with our vision of a cycle-friendly city that puts people first.

Our full members are invited to attend the Annual General Meeting in spring 2011. We will be in touch with more detail soon. As a campaign member, this is your chance to influence the direction of our campaign: the future of cycling in our town.

See you around on our city’s streets!
Katja