It’s been a hectic month since Cycle Malvern was effectively re-launched with the creation of a Facebook group (on 14th October). Good progress has been made in this short time, but clearly there is a lot more needed.
Today’s announcement of the second round of the government’s active travel funding would be a good way to celebrate the first month, if only Worcestershire County Council had put together a better bid.
A later tweet from APPGCW has added numbers to that chart. Note that the first word has been dropped from the original title of ’emergency active travel fund’. See Note below.
The announcement does however give an excuse to mention that a new section has been added to this website – titled ‘Skills and Safety’ but in practice covering all those issues which don’t fall under ‘racks and routes’. This is where we’ll collate any local ideas or developments which relate to the targets of the Phase 2 money. As per the government press release:
- ‘School Streets’, where streets around schools are closed to motorists at school times
- low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs), where residential side streets are closed to through traffic to stop rat-running
- segregated cycle lanes
- pedestrian improvements
It’s perhaps rather dubious that Malvern will see much of this round of government money for the above, but there could be other options to explore as well.
More than racks and routes
Bike racks and cycle routes aren’t the only things that can help encourage more ‘active travel’ in and around Malvern. The Facebook group has already started discussing a number, such as:
- Basic bike maintenance classes.
- Safe places for young children to enjoy cycling and gain confidence.
- Road skills for adults, and kids too? (Bikeability)
- School Streets and Safe Routes to Schools.
- Expanding the availability of electric bicycles for a test run, cargo bikes even.
The new page isn’t much more than a list at the moment, but hopefully it will develop along with our activity on the issues. There are many ways to encourage and support cycling locally beyond the installation of hardware or physical construction, some fitting neatly under the ‘Skills and Safety’ title but others can be shoe-horned on to the page too!
Starting to take action
Cycle Malvern is already beginning to take steps in campaigning for and supporting action. We’ve been liaising over proposals for additonal bike parking facilities around the town, set up a working group to focus on getting things moving on the years-old idea of a cycle route from Malvern to Worcester, and have close to a hundred members of the Facebook group without any widespread publicity.
In total from the two phases, Worcestershire is set to receive £784,700, down £568,300 from the amount asked for (£1,353,000). Phase one: received £135,500, having bid £271,000. Phase two: £649,200 out of a £1million bid. Figures sourced from road.cc article (some rounding?) and official allocations here.