OK, I apologise in advance to all of you who are here for the vegetable growing and squashed wildlife and weather reports – I do try and keep the cycling politics stuff to a minimum cos I know it’s boring but sometimes it just has to be done…
It seems that when the Scottish Government announced in 2010 that ‘10% of journeys should be by bike by 2020’ it had its fingers crossed behind its back. And also that when the Transport minister told 3000 voters who’d pedalled on Parliament that we were ‘pushing on an open door’ he forgot to add that the door was marked ‘pull’. Because, according to the Transport minister what his real priority at the moment is modernising Scotland’s transport infrastructure and by ‘modern’ he means motorways and other things they used to get really excited about way back in the sixties.
And on closer inspection the much vaunted cycling action plan that’s supposed to magically deliver this vision of 10% of journeys by bike consists of the following steps:
- Train some volunteers to train school children to ride bikes, if they want to and the school doesn’t really object.
- If your employer has showers at work and a bike shed, it can apply to be a cycle-friendly employer!
- Did you know that Dumfries and Galloway has a bike bus? We think. Anyway, here’s a picture of it. We didn’t pay for it but it’s the sort of thing that local authorities could do if they wanted to. No pressure, though. Totally up to them.
- We ARE paying Sustrans to find some roads we haven’t made into dual carriageways yet and put some signs up calling them the National Cycle Network. Also there may be some closed down railways and things that the cyclists could use if they wanted to.
- Oh yes, and look, there’s a recession and petrol’s going up so lots of people will cycle anyway because they haven’t any alternative.
- Also we have just built this shiny new motorway right into the middle of Glasgow and on the day before it opens, everyone can pay money to go and ride their bikes on it for charity.
- And on the other days, they can put their bikes on the back of their cars and drive down the motorway to Ae and go mountain biking because that totally counts as a cycling trip.
- Plus if everyone shuts their eyes and wishes REALLY HARD it might happen
- Oh and did we mention it wasn’t a target, it was a shared vision?
That sound you can hear in the background is the sound of a politician backpedalling furiously.
That sound you can hear in the foreground is me grinding my teeth.
Oh never mind, here’s a nice wee song and a video instead