Update 16 07 2023
Campaigning > Cyclewight Latest Update
A July catch up.
The committee met with the designers of the Pennyfeathers development in Ryde recently. This was very interesting as it is proving very controversial and so it was good to hear a different view. CycleWight had made a submission to the planning application which highlighted improvements we would like to see. One of the points that was made by the design team is how they are restricted on some design features because the Police fear they will lead to crime and social problems. Island Roads also made points that are not in keeping with the guidelines for cycling and walking issued by the Government. The issue is that they are guidelines and are not mandatory. With both of these bodies there seems to be a distinct lack of a pragmatic support for the fundamental principles of the development and there is a need for the Council to make its desires clearer. Active Travel England has a role to play as well and there is more to be said about this below.
Active Travel England is the government’s executive agency responsible for making walking, wheeling and cycling the preferred choice for everyone to get around in England. Their objective is for 50% of trips in England’s towns and cities to be walked, wheeled or cycled by 2030. They state, "By making everyday journeys simple, easy and fun, Active Travel England is working to give people the choice to leave their car at home. We’ll do this by working alongside councils.” For people on the Island this should make a difference by giving guidelines to the Council on delivering developments that ensure active travel is more prominent in infrastructure. They are to review any housing development over 150 houses so Pennyfeathers will fit into this category. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/active-travel-england. ATE has a scale of 0 to 4 to show how well Councils are at achieving Active Travel. This score is based on: local leadership, plans and delivery record. The Isle of Wight has a rating of 1. To be fair to the IWC, out of 79 Councils 41 were also level 1. Only 4 were Level 3 and there were four Councils who received a score of zero! We shall be asking IWC what their plans are to raise our level.
Linked to the above is that the Bay Area has now announced the tendering process for their LCWIP. This just leaves two areas without plans for a LCWIP: Ventnor, Whitwell and Niton and the West Wight. If you live in either of these areas ask your local Councillor about what is being done to get the process under way.
The saga of the maintenance of the tracks continues. We are awaiting a reply after challenging some of the assertions in the latest letter from Island Roads.
Red Funnel have development plans for East Cowes. We will be looking at these closely to ensure cyclists and pedestrians are considered properly in line with the latest guidelines.
Don’t forget Going Electric. This is an event that will cover all kinds of ways to be more green in your lifestyle. It is at the Isle of Wight College on Sunday 30th July. We will be there with some of the bike shops so there will be an opportunity to have a go on an electric bike.
Last month we mentioned the new road safety signs. We would like to remind you that the cost was not excessive so if you know of any company or individual who would like to sponsor one or two please let us know. The sponsor could appear on the sign.