Monday, 7 September 2009


The Cambridge Evening News reported a little while back that Cambridge is considering residents' responses "before a final decision on whether to press ahead with the trial scheme is made."

Consultation to find out whether they should "press ahead" on a "trial" that's decades late already ?

It staggers me how slowly the UK can manage to proceed on perfectly common sense things which are simply "normal" here in the Netherlands and have been so for many years.

But, well, that's why the Netherlands has made progress on cycling and the UK has not. Campaigners need to be less accepting of this and demand actual progress to be made in a reasonable amount of time. It's also why we emigrated...

A few days later the same paper covered the story that shoppers might be put off a town if it has slower speed limits and safer streets. Very odd indeed.

Incidentally, the Dutch did do the experiment, not on a small scale either, now have many thousands of km of 30 km/h speed limits and have found that this isn't quite enough.


Paul Simms said...

There's a ground swell of people sick of the infrastructure status quo in the UK, and they are gaining more credence and media coverage. You wait, when this gets sorted you'll be back over here in a flash.

.....not (sigh)

David Earl said...

As you know, Cambridge is served by a thoroughly one-sided local paper when it comes to transport matters. Changes for the benefit of cyclists (or pedestrians, as in the city centre) are always presented as bad news if they have any impact or perceived impact on motorists. What you read in the paper doesn't necessarily reflect public opinion, though it is, no doubt, influential on local politicians. I invite people to consider the later pages and see where the source of much of the paper's advertising revenue is.

I think the best thing that could be done for transport in Cambridge would be for someone to start liberal (at least on transport issues) competition to the Cambridge News.

Being more proactive and not pursuing consultation works both ways though - there's massive pressure from big business for the planning process to be more "streamlined" (i.e. get rid of public participation).