A year of REAL debate

Another year has come to an end; and I will attempt to quickly write up some of my thoughts about the last 12 months. It was a year of extremes: a protected cycleway was finally built on John Dobson Street, but was darkly overshadowed by the horrendous road-building plans of the Northern Access Corridor. Campaigning was, more than anything, an emotional rollercoaster this year. Never mind the varying quality of plans, on the whole I simply wished council’s programme would have been clearer, better projected and outlined, as that would have given us more time to properly prepare our position[…]

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On yer bike, Pat, for Newcastle

Faithfully, since our foundation in 2010 I have been writing incisive (German!) messages, casting back and looking ahead. You are not spared this tradition at the start of 2016. On this occasion, it is a message that describes how council have been successfully scratching the surface. They are trying. So much so that council may have almost convinced some of you into thinking Newcastle is actually moving into a more sustainable transport direction with people, not cars, at the heart. To me, having observed and examined council’s goings-on for more than five years, this however only feels like tactics. Or[…]

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Five years and counting

Our chair writes: In our normal daily lives, we often forget that power is in the equation. It’s through its absence (rather than its presence) that we feel it the most. We formed the Newcastle Cycling Campaign five years ago to address an imbalance in power, and with that the imbalance in our spatial attribution and acknowledgement of day-to-day cycling in our city. We want to see its ‘needs and musts’ debated. We wish it to flourish and mature. After five years, surely it’s time to ask ourselves: what have we achieved? What did we want to achieve? Have we achieved[…]

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Short changing city’s future

Sally Brown nails it. Where’s the sense in all this? So much talking and reporting, so little sense or action. If one thing was continuous in 2014, it wasn’t Newcastle’s comfortable cycleways, but rather their absence. Newcastle’s cycleway construction is still lacking progress and, more worryingly for cycling safety, attention to detail. And that with a bigger backdrop of climate change and carbon emissions, public health endemics and squeezed economies. What must we do to finally see some ingenuity and enlightenment? Where is our pioneering spirit that Newcastle is so famous for? Letter to Cllr Nick Forbes So we have knuckled[…]

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Structuring the campaign

Under this year’s motto “Shifting Up A Gear” we started growing the Campaign as well as started looking at the growing demands of the Campaign. It’s fantastic to see us steadily expanding – after all, it means we have a louder and more concerted voice that can be translated into more influence. However this also means that we have to keep an eye on our organisational needs and make sure our structures support this as best as can. The Committee meeting held on 4 November 2014 formally approved an aspirational Committee structure. We also said that we want to be an active committee – never a “talking shop” – with its members taking on roles and tasks.[…]

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Chair’s half-year marker

Here we are – half way through our campaign year, which prompted me to have a look at our Campaign Plan agreed at AGM. I got to say: I am impressed with the focus we have managed to keep so far. Membership engagement We’ve been doing what we said we would do. Delivering the Space for Cycling campaign to your (and the Councillors’) doorstep, making a bell-ringing noise at our rides attended by hundreds, organising cycle infra safaris (four out of seven this year), directing members towards CycleScape to engage online, and record comments for future reference. And much, much[…]

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Quick reflection on 2013

Another year’s just swooshed past. It was little more graceful than the years before, with similar campaigning aspects persisting to stick around, impossible for us to strike them off the list (yet). In early 2013, here it suddenly was, the money. Previously oft-cited by council as the reason for inaction. And a two-year works programme too. To create the main ask for us, more space for cycling, Newcastle had been awarded £6m to do exactly that through the Cycle City Ambition Fund. Roadspace reallocation projects galore we have been promised. There has been much talk, many meetings yet no actual[…]

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New Year 2013 – here we come!

Last year we put cycling firmly on Newcastle’s political agenda. And what was true then, remains true now. We have the City chiefs and a good number of local Councillors on cycling’s side. It’s excellent and we thank these political pedal pioneers. The real convincing will now take place on a ‘ward level’ when cycling improvements are proposed. Local Councillors have recently opposed cycle plans in Walker and Walkergate on spurious grounds; and the jury’s still out for the Gosforth bike proposal. Unfortunately, Councillors can be prone to playing political games and to party posturing. This is despite everyone’s full[…]

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Chair’s new year message – press release

28.12.2011 PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE A LONG WAY FOR CYCLING The Newcastle Cycling Campaign reflects on their achievements in 2011, and plans for 2012. City chiefs took up the challenge and got on their bikes to cycle the city centre with the Newcastle Cycling Campaign in June. City leader Cllr Nick Forbes when asked whether cycle provision was a bit ‘barmy’ replied: “To be frank, that’s one of the reasons why I stopped cycling in Newcastle because you never knew from one minute to the next whether you are going to be on the road, the pavement or[…]

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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[…]

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