Boy do some elected members in @SwaleCouncil & #Faversham Town Council not like cyclists! All sorts of insult & scaremongery was manifest at yesterday evening’s Local Engagement Forum.
Here’s a selection of their views: Cyclists kill. Cyclists are anti social. Not just the young ones but the old ones too.
I intervened to point out:
– towns and cities throughout the UK are positively encouraging greater levels of cycling because they see cycling as part of their sustainability strategy, part of their economic regeneration strategy, part of their health strategy
– the UK’s population is changing with greater levels of younger people and young families who want to cycle if they are given the option
– if Faversham is seeking to ban cyclists then it is going backwards
– cars kill, injure and intimidate much more than cyclists yet we don’t talk about them in these pejorative ways
– rather than victimise people who choose to cycle we should be encouraging a culture of civilised behaviour throughout the town
– the 20s Plenty campaign is key to this
– and, by the way, on the point that Faversham isn’t the Netherlands, Bristol has the UK’s highest levels of cycling. Bristol has hills. Faversham has slopes.
The senior police officer there, speaking in a personal capacity said that if it was up to him he would deregulate rather than regulate. Remove signs not add more of them. He quoted the case of Ashford where the urban design approach there has led to lower levels of injuries and fatalities. He thanked me for intervening.
It makes me wonder – if we left it to experts like this officer, how much better, more civilised, convivial and economically successful could Faversham be?