If you live or travel in Leicestershire you have probably realised that this is a county that is resolutely anti cycling and cyclists. Let me give you some examples.
1. The County Council hold a Cycling Consultation meeting. Sounds good but it is scheduled for twice a year and this year one of the 2 meetings was cancelled and the other was scheduled for 1:30pm so that people would have to miss work to attend. It was allocated 1 hour. A County Council that believes 1 hour a year is an appropriate amount of time to invest in meeting cyclists to discuss the whole county makes the total lack of priority obvious. (to be fair the meeting ended up lasting 4 hours but still had to massively cut the agenda and has not agreed to increase the frequency or length of the meetings).
2. The County Council routinely ignore maintenance needs and reports about cycle facilities. At the above meeting CTC Right to Ride campaigners were struggling with problems that have been reported multiple times over 2 or 3 years and yet which have been ignored. I have twice reported a bad bit of cycle path alongside the busy A6 at a field entrance that floods every time it rains, no response yet.
3. Tonight there are resurfacing works on the A46 between Syston and Rothley. The County Council ignore cyclists so have not even noticed that there is a two way cycle path alongside the A46 where they are working. They put up road blocks and diversions for drivers but cyclists don’t matter. I was stopped by a supervisor who was concerned when he saw me riding on the separated cycle path – he hadn’t even known it existed and didn’t know where it went. For my part I had not known of the road works when I joined the cycle path because there was not a single sign or lorry or anything.
Of course there are no plans to resurface the cycle path or make it meet minimum standards or make if feel safe. At the moment an Officer from the County Council, who designs cycle infrastructure, has told me he would not use it because it does not feel safe – that is a big problem as during the recent floods it was the only crossing of the River Soar available to Cyclists between Leicester City and Loughborough. Here it is on video:
4. Then there is our MP Stephen Dorrell he generally ignores any letters relating to cycling and so far as I can tell has not signed any pro cycling (not The Times campaign nor any Early Day Motions) while our MP. That is very worrying in an MP who has a Health Service role at a time when the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence say that Cycling and walking should be the norm for all short journeys
5. Then there is the appalling quality of cycle infrastructure that Leicestershire County Council are still installing even this year. A reminder of my video of a “Safe Route to School” in Syston (taken at 10am because it is too dangerous to ride it when children are about).
I could go on and on about the low design standards (and have done so in quite a few other blog posts), yet the Council are determined to defend their designs as both good and cost effective, while doing their best to use as an excuse that Cyclists don’t all want the same thing (yet we were unanimous at the meeting that this particular infrastructure was dangerous and should never have been implemented).
6. This one is quite hard to believe. Cyclists are being told how wonderful it is that Leicestershire County Council were successful in a LSTF (Local Sustainable Transport Fyund) bid. Yet the very first tried and tested scheme of this SUSTAINABLE transport bid that they write about on their website is:
The expansion of ‘Wheels to Work’ – where young people are loaned scooters to go to work or training
Duh! I am sure that The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence will think that is an excellent idea.
Note that the whole of the LSTF bid is being spent in just a few areas (Coalville, Loughborough, Shepshed) and so the rest of the county have been promised that nothing will be spent on them for several years.