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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Civic Cycle Ride – on the day

The event, held on 27 September 2014, kicked off with a speech from Katja Today is about, you might have guessed it, Space for Cycling. But overall it is about saying a big thank you. A big thank-you to you for actually being here today – thanks for joining us – and a big thank-you to everyone who has written to their Councillor. But the biggest thank-you today actually goes to our Councillors. And I cannot stress enough that Newcastle with a sign up rate of two out of three Councillors to support Space for Cycling is absolutely magical. Newcastle[…]

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Campaign quits Newcastle Cycling Forum

Newcycling, Newcastle’s cycling campaign, resigns from Newcastle City Council’s cycling forum. This comes after the group attended numerous fruitless meetings with bad governance of the forum overall. Katja, chair of Newcycling, says “Cycling deserves much better. We’ve tried to work with the council through the forum, but in its current form its not possible; it’s too frustrating banging your head against a brick wall all the time. “Involved and active citizenship deserves much better. We knew we had to cut our ties, after we assessed the achievements of the meetings compared to the time we spent on preparing for the[…]

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We say So Long to the Newcastle Cycling Forum

As a matter of routine, we regularly assess our communication channels with the decision-makers at Newcastle council. We want to use and direct our volunteer time and resources where we can make a difference and where it has the best effect. As a consequence we have pulled out of the Newcastle Cycling Forum. In a recent Campaign Management Committee we focussed on discussing the achievements of the council’s Cycling Forum and the unshifting relationship between the forum and the campaign. As a community group with a good track record of reliability, transparency, consistency in our message, high degree of professionalism and[…]

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Design and Planning – presentation to council

Katja presents at Newcastle City Council’s Cycle Forum. The presentation and its findings are based on our experience working with the Newcastle City Council’s councillors and officers since 2010. Good communication and a clear process are as important as leadership and technical expertise. Design and Planning, lessons learnt presentation to Newcastle City Council Cycle Forum from Katsdekker We outline six areas of improvement. 1. Political leadership (examples Sevilla, NYC) 2. Routes (approval pending) 3. Monitoring data (cycle use before and after, volume and speed of traffic to inform design) 4. Sustainable safety principles for road safety (user need, human psychology)[…]

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Members’ survey – Shifting up a gear with you

First of all, a big thank-you to the 143 members who completed our survey. That’s about 12% of our total membership including all family members, and a good response for this type of survey. Lisa Vincent was the lucky winner who grabbed the prize, a £20 voucher from our fab partner the Cycle Hub (see photo). A large proportion of respondents, 73% to be precise, are men, which is probably a fairly accurate reflection of the current gender split within the cycling community. There were 10% of you who had started cycling recently and a very small percentage, 1% of[…]

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Space for Cycling 2014 – Political party statements

This is part of the Space for Cycling initiative. Read more here The Green Party : Just like Copenhagen began its change to bicycles in the 1970s and now even in the winter 34% of commuter trips are by bicycle, we have that vision for Newcastle, a place for people. We want new ways of getting around, towns and cities not suffocated by the tide of traffic but ones where walking is really pleasant, cycling fun, public transit efficient and affordable, and where electric vehicles take the remaining strain. We will tackle road danger to create a better environment to[…]

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Still ambitious chaos

You remember the Cycle City Ambition Fund? Maybe not? And you’d be forgiven, as the council keeps strangely quiet about it in its communications, newsletters and updates to residents. Why is that? Why do they find it so hard to communicate their ambitious transformation to a city fit for people? Is it too ambitious and they are hesitant and uncertain where to start? Or do they simply not see the value in shouting it from all roof tops? The story began last year. In April 2013 we, amongst many other groups, full-heartedly supported Newcastle’s ambition to transform its roads and[…]

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Response to the Strategic Economic Plan consultation

We are severely worried about the very lacking status of sustainable active transport in the strategy. It seems that only major traditional (road) projects are concentrated upon, when the future will be about creating liveable places, towns and cities. This is a landuse planning and a devolved engineering issue. By not acknowledging the ‘crossroads’ we find ourselves on, we are manoeuvring ourselves into a dead end. I refer you to Iain Docherty’s thinkpiece on your website. Section B4 mentions points that would undermine the North East’s ability to grow, and discusses a few points, but misses out transport entirely. The[…]

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