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10:40am Thursday 14th March 2013 in Letters
I WOULD like to bring the attention of your readers to the remarkable vision for cycling and an integrated network that has been produced at the instigation of London Mayor Boris Johnson.
It has an importance that goes beyond London itself, as it will be a template for other authorities to follow.
With the coming county council elections due in May, now is the time to ask potential councillors what vision they have for the area.
Will they continue to pay lip service to the needs of the area with piecemeal, compartmentalised planning? The London vision demonstrates that however good the council officers are, no real progress can be made without political drive and leadership.
From a cycling perspective, the new Abbey Bridge is a good example, with virtually no improvement for cyclists.
As I understand, if it had to be approved after March 20 of this year, it would not comply with design criteria. I have lobbied the council and the South Worcestershire Development Plan authority that a policy to create a cycling network should be included to meet their sustainability obligation. It remains to be seen whether the inspector will take my view.
London plans to spend some £400 million over the next three years, about £18 per head. Proportionate to population, Worcestershire should be spending about £50 million – compare that with the Worcestershire cycling budget for 2012 of £253,000.
Ask your councillors whether we will need to continue spending £140million (in Worcestershire alone) on obesity and treatment of weight problems per year.
Or do we enable people to “self treat” by using the “natural” treatment of cycling and walking – at the same time providing for the mobility devices that the “baby boomer”
generation will require as they fall into decrepitude.
Create the infrastructure that is likely to be there for at least the next 100 years.
ROBERT C HALE Evesham