Matt Seaton gave a thoughtful talk about cycling now: the changing culture
in which we live is beginning to promote a culture of cycling.
- At TfL conference at Canary Wharf he saw many bikes and bike racks: 12 years ago, none.
- Rose Ades’ work for Ken Livingstone.
- Cycling Demonstration Towns.
- First bicycle film festival.
- Seaton didn’t pitch the idea of a column
on cycling to his editor – the editor suggested it. Now as a cyclist he is a
resource. Every year, more good new books.
- Changes at local authority level
– from the tokenist approach to part of transport policy
- Longterm cyclists from the wilderness years can find themselves in an
endangered minority mindwarp…
The first golden age of cycling in the 1890s came to symbolize an idealized
relationship between people and machines, and was then a vehicle of positive
After a century of technological change the experience of cycling is
becoming more pleasant again. Ken Livingstone’s aim to increase cycling in
London by 80% by 2010 was already met last year.
With events like the Tour
of Britain, and part of the Tour of France here next year, the dowdy scruffy
image of cycling is changing to glamorous, shiny, new!
Priorities have changed. Best thing yet: advance stop lines give the message
to other road users that cyclists have priority.
Infrastructure is about
communication as well as nuts and bolts.
Cycling has moved from the margins to centre stage. The next thing is how to
exploit this and push forwards. A new establishment is coming up. Should we
be thinking about our behaviour? Time for reform? How to win friends among
other road users?
James Brander chaired the meeting, having first supplied us all with fine wine.
He then opened the floor for questions. Topics raised in questions included the role of the media: The Guardian
plans to expand cycling coverage daily on website.
Resonance FM 104.4 on
Mondays is the first radio programme on cycling.
Schoolchildren cycling: how to move from cycle training to practical application – cycling to school. Main priority: 20mph limit within 2m of
schools. Tailormade routes.
Stefano Casalotti introduced the cycle bus – convoys of parents with children. He wants to know whether parents at Hampstead Parochial are interested. If so, CCC could apply for a grants for trainin parents.
How to make cycling more sociable. The artificial division between leisure and utility.
Finally, Bob Spellar gave presentation on his campaign to allow children to
cycle to school across Hampstead Heath. Most routes still banned and the
Heath and Hampstead Society has not been budged. Spellar would like a critical mass demo by parents and schoolchildren with press coverage to make the point. One mother spoke of her experience of riding across the Heath with her children. She uses Lime Avenue and has been stopped by the Heath Constabulary.