Leicester Cycle City Workshop disappointment 1

Sadly this might turn out to be one of a series.

This evening I went to my first Leicester Cycle City Workshop.

It appears to be a semi open meeting (there is something about needing to attend as a representative of a recognised group for full participation) every 3rd Wednesday of the month at the Town Hall from 4:30pm. I guess there were around 20 people there.

My first key disappointment was a variety of ways in which this workshop was unrepresentative.

The most blindingly obvious was that there was no diversity at all in ethnicity and very little of culture. Leicester is a beautiful mixture of multiple cultures and ethnicities. I understand that when the results of the 2011 census come out Leicester will be the first official UK city where minority ethnic groups form the majority of the population.

It is not that people on bikes in Leicester are all white, I see a wide variety of people on bikes every time I ride into the city. Where is their representation?

Also missing fair representation in the workshop were:

  • parents worried about the safety of their children (a key group in the formation of the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain)
  • people who would like to ride a bike but don’t feel safe (also represented in the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain)
  • people who ride their bikes for daily transport to the shops, friends etc but have no sporting pretensions
  • people who ride their bikes for work rather than commuting to work (as both Jane and I do)
  • people who ride their bikes to school or college (as our middle son does)
  • pedestrians of any kind, particularly those who find shared pedestrian/cyclist facilities frightening (you are welcome to come and meet many who feel this way in the Churches I serve).
As I understand the way this works this Cycle City Workshop is the only official forum in Leicester where the views of people are sought on planning issues relating to cycling. How sad that so few of us are represented there.
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  1. Similar problem at our councils forum.

    “(there is something about needing to attend as a representative of a recognised group for full participation)”

    Is this part of the problem maybe? Certainly in the case of ours there is no general ‘open invitation’, nor awareness amongst people that it exists!

  2. The problem we have in south derbyshire is that ‘local’ meetings, eg. on Policing, tend to be held once a quarter and are moved around say a dozen locations. Some people might be prepared to travel to such meetings but after a day out at work, and particularly in the dark winter evenings, I’m interested in attending local meetings I can walk to, but not ones that require a 25 mile round trip – that isn’t local to me. So the attendees seem to be just councilors and reporters. I wonder why that is?

  3. You’re quite right. I hope the meeting planners hear or read your comments. You do not have to be registered with any official society to ride a bike nor in order to be prosecuted if we break the rules!

  4. Leicester Cycle City Workshop disappointment 2 « 42 Bikes - pingback on September 24, 2011 at 1:26 pm

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