We’ve written to Cllr Nigel Todd

We reviewed the forum’s effectiveness, and shared the info with its chair.

Improvement suggestions for Newcastle City Council’s cycle forum

We are well placed to make suggestions:

  • Our secretary and chair have contributed to the forum for many years, as have individual campaign members
  • We sought feedback from forum contributors
  • We have kick started improvements over the past months: originating from an external force: a petition signed by 800 local people (chair = petition organiser)
  • We have been closely involved in the writing of the forum’s terms of reference
  • We have contributed to various consultations and working groups
  • We also have reviewed all available minutes (9 years worth)

We believe more effort could be put into two aspects. This way we would get a two-way process, with a positive mutual learning effect, that’s effective and satisfying to all.

More effective use of everyone’s time: the council must make better use of their website and embrace online systems (mapping, online discussion forum, working with others) in order to fully engage with the cycling community. Time between the main forum meetings (quarterly currently) must be used.

More transparent ways-of working could be developed: more focus must be on adherence to structure (schematic below) and details mandated in the Terms of Reference. At a minimum:

  • Actions must be closed down to avoid a talking-shop mentality
  • It must be clearer how people’s comments are taken into account
  • Officers decision and justification must be reported back to the forum

The Newcastle Cycling Campaign will forward a list of outstanding actions, and would like to ask the council to reply how these will be addressed, and when.

The structure

Strategy (draft, approval January 2012): 10-year document
Action Plan: 5-year document (to be reviewed annually)
Work programme (forum: monitor, review, consult): 1-year document
interacts with (up and down)
Working groups: monthly meetings
  • Outstanding (minor works) list (Heather’s list)
  • Cycle strategic network
  • Others may be: specific strategic route or area, soft measures: training, bike parking map development, professional driver liaison group, road users debate