Browsing articles tagged with " action"
May 8, 2012
Andrew Budd

Active Travel – Walking in May, Cycling in June

With a special summer of sport on its way, with the European Nations’ football tournament, the Olympics, and the Paralympics, plus the regular Wimbledon and Tour de France, we could spend the whole summer on the sofa, watching all this activity? Fortunately there’s lots going on locally to encourage and support us, if we want to get active ourselves; stepping out with walking in May, and cycling in June.

We’re now into National Walking Month, and Colchester Travel Plan Club is booting-up for WALK TO WORK WEEK, 14-18 MAY. Some Colchester Travel Plan Club member organisations have signed up for this, and office teams have been invited to take part in a little friendly competition.

Here’s the link for the national event http://www.livingstreets.org.uk/walk-with-us/events/walk-to-work-week Over the next few days your CTPC workplace co-ordinator should sign up your company. If you’re not in the CTPC you can still join in the fun, by registering your company yourself. And for individuals where the company has chosen not to take part, you can still join in by signing -up as an individual. We believe there are already some small businesses and individuals in Colchester that have done that, but we won’t know for sure until the Walk to Work Week’s starting gates open on the 14th May.

“WALK TO WORK” (no, it’s not just about the walk to work) was one of the topics discussed at the CTPC Active Travel event, held on 25 April 2012 at Colchester General Hospital. The other main topic for ACTIVE TRAVEL was CYCLING.

Caroline Bates, fundraiser for Colchester Hospital Charity (CoHoC), spoke about their BIKE TO WORK CHALLENGE at the Hospital, and CTPC members agreed to join in. Caroline’s great idea is that all Colchester workplaces join in with the Bike to Work Challenge, and the individuals donate their bus fares or petrol money to the hospital charity. Bike Week will be 16-24 June, with more information about Caroline’s event at    http://www.bikeweek.org.uk/event_search.php?pagemode=display&event_id=186&postcode=co3&distance=10&category=-1&county=-1&fee=any&child=any 

Find us at “Colchester Travel Plan Club” on Facebook, and @travelplanclub on Twitter.

Sep 5, 2011
Andrew Budd

Holland not coming our way any day soon……..

“There are two possibilities – either to change the way we build our cities, which is a very far-reaching kind of project, or else we make up for their deficiencies by looking at them in a different way.”

August Endell was a painter and architect, who wrote “The Beauty of the Big City”, about Berlin in the 1920s. And here we are, Colchester a cycle town from 2008, and planning for Colchester 2020. Cycle Colchester project is a partnership between the local authorities and the voluntary sector, and the Colchester project continues even though the current government decided not to continue their financial support for the cycle town concept.

There have recently been some observations that we have not yet created Dutch infrastructure in Colchester. Ah yes, Holland, that heaven on earth where people can cycle from everywhere to everywhere else, in complete safety, happy and smiling all the time. Here’s an inspirational link from Copenhagen http://youtu.be/RCDV-7QWt6Q showing it is entirely possible to create places where many people choose to cycle.

There are some people in Colchester who will say that Colchester is too hilly, too wet or too cold for cycling, despite there being plenty of places that have much more adverse conditions, and much more cycling.  There are others who say “it’s too dangerous, and I won’t cycle until I can get from my home to —– (insert your destination here), until there is a dedicated off-road cyclepath from door to door”. Well the path ain’t going to happen sometime soon, and probably never will.

It’s back to Wendell, and how we respond to our city as it is; lovely but imperfect. I suggest that very many journeys in Colchester can NOW be made by bike, with relatively good ease and safety, if we are prepared to give it a go. If people want to make that change from HABITUAL car use, and use their bike for SOME of the journeys, for many of us, we CAN do it. There is plenty of information out there about equipment and training, and lots of information about cycle routes. 

When we look at the Danes in the video link, remember that the Danes have HIGHER car ownership than we do, it’s just that they don’t choose to use the car for ALL trips. (I have cycled in their smaller, Colchester scale, cities – Aarhus, Aalborg and Odense – and it’s not just a Copenhagen thing.)

OK, we don’t have a full network in Colchester of dedicated cycle routes for all possible trips, but we do have hundreds of miles of quiet roads that are safe to use by bike, and some very useful links through green spaces. We can wait until the perfect path is provided, but I suggest we, as a community, should be getting the benefits of cycling now.

We need more people, using bikes for more kinds of journeys, more of the time. Cycle Colchester isn’t just about “them”, the authorities; it’s also about “us”, the members of our community, and what WE do.

Disclaimer: Please note that this blog posting is my own personal opinion. Feel free to comment.

What’s coming up?

5 - 19 May Colchester Walking Challenge

10 - 25 June Colchester Cycle Challenge

(10 - 17 June National Bike Week)

14 June CTPC members meeting

15 June National Clean Air Day

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