Charnwood's TPP Bid rejected
The Bid put in by Charnwood Borough Council was rejected by Sir George Young, Secretary of State for Transport, on the grounds that it still placed too much emphasis on provision for car transport. In consolation, and in recognition of Charnwood's positive approach towards cycling, 50,000 pounds was allocated specifically to be spent on cycling facilities. That was the good news.
The bad news is that Leicestershire County Council, to whom the grant is made, proposes spending this on a cycle path skirting around the roundabout above the M1 at Shepshed. This proposal came before the Charnwood Cycle Consultative Committee and every local representative opposed the proposal unless traffic lights were to be introduced. The Committee overwhelmingly supported an alternative use of the funds, to install a Toucan across the Epinal Way where it is crossed by the Burleigh Way.
However Leicestershire County Council have ignored this advice and propose going ahead with the original proposal. Protests are being lodged and we await developments with interest.
Picnic in the Park - Saturday 17 May
The Campaign is aiming to make this a major publicity feature this year. The event runs from 12-00 to 5-00pm and begins with a parade. We would like to have a presence so if you can come along "artistically" decorated (either bicycle, rider or both) please do so. Out of the ordinary machines are particularly welcome.
Clive will be organising a "cycling challenge" in Queens Park and we will be setting out a display. If you are able to come along or assist please contact Clive Davis Tel. 239263.
Epinal Way Cycle Path change
Some of you may have noticed that the pedestrian and cycle tracks beside the Epinal Way have been swapped, placing the cyclists next to the traffic and the pedestrians furthest away from it.
Whilst this may be the sensible option, as members of the campaign have pointed out in the past, we were disturbed to find this being implemented without it being discussed by Charnwood Cycle Consultative Committee, since some of the resulting track is not up to standard. Our chairman is taking the matter up with Charnwood Borough Council
Editorial - Tax Car Parking?
A recent report revealed an increasing problem for poor families in obtaining decent food due to many supermarkets only being easily accessible by car. It seems to me that many problems could be ameliorated if a tax on car parking spaces was introduced. I am thinking here of all commercial and public authority car parks including car parking provided by shops and also car parks provided for employees. This would have the following advantages as I see it;
- Provide a source of income for government (either local or national).
- Meets all of the four main canons of taxation enunciated by Adam Smith. They specified that taxation should be equitable (based on the ability to pay), convenient for the taxpayer, economical (easy to collect) and certain.
- Assist local shops without car parking provision to compete with the superstores.
- Increase the costs of businesses that rely on their employees or customers arriving by car.
- Shops and employers would in many cases introduce charges for parking making publice transport, cycling or walking financially attractive. They might even find it would be in their interests to offer incentives to use other means of transport.
- The increased utilisation of public transport that would result would in turn lead to an improvement of services and start a virtuous spiral.
- Any resulting reduction in car usage would make the roads safer for cycling (helped by the fact that more people might cycle) and these after all do make the best cycle facilities, if it wasn't for the cars.
Perhaps we should start lobbying our new MP and government who could no doubt use the money.