A blog about cars in Aberdeen.

This is a blog about cars in Aberdeen because most people aspire to the convenience of personal motor transport, pay dearly for the privilege, provide much employment, contribute greatly in taxes, and then people expect them to ‘leave the car at home’, while their money is spent creating cycle lanes and the like for freeloading cyclists.

Monday 16 May 2011

Aberdeen Cycle Forum is On Our Side

As our ongoing research into the activities of Aberdeen's so-called cycling community continues, we are obliged to visit websites we wouldn't otherwise visit and read newsletters we wouldn't otherwise read. Yes, it's a nasty job, but somebody's got to do it.

However, to our great surprise we find that, in common with our own undercover agent (Codename JannieJumbo) the so-called cycling activists are actually double-agents promoting policies which will actually benefit the drivers of Aberdeen Cars! We delightedly exposed the pro-motor activities of CTC Grampian the other day, and so today we've been looking at the activities of that other cycling 'pressure group' - Aberdeen Cycle Forum (ACF). And we were delighted by what we saw on their website!

Firstly, their website abounds with the word "challenge": Aberdeen Cycle Forum Challenge, Chief Executive Cycle Challenge, Annual Commuter Challenge. Brilliant! The message is clear - cycling is a challenge, something hard, something difficult and unusual, like mountaineering or world-record attempts.

Secondly, we notice a little bit of friction between Aberdeen Cycle Forum and CTC Grampian over the issue of bike lanes at pedestrian refuge pinch points. We do not propose to examine the esoterica of this arcane dispute, it is enough for us to note that the two groups are at each other's throats over this inconsequential piece of nothing. Divide and conquer; as long as these two groups are busy knocking lumps out of each other over this and other issues, they will not impinge upon the activities of the drivers of Aberdeen Cars. Good.

Sling up a sign. That's all that's needed to keep
the cyclists quiet, and more importantly -
out of our way!
Thirdly, and probably the most clever piece of tradecraft exhibited by the Aberdeen Cycle Forum double agents, is that ACF appear to be in love with the 'shared use' pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure which we see popping up all over the place in Aberdeen "City and Shire" these days. Everywhere we look there are "Dual Use" paths and "Toucan" crossings. Brilliant. These serve our aims in four ways. One - they encourage cyclists to get off our road and out of our way. Two - they make the authorities appear to be doing something green, something for the cyclists, all the while spending the very minimum and not actually doing very much at all in the way of creating suitable new infrastructure for cycling. Three - these dual-use facilities do not reduce the amount of roadspace allocated to cars, while in effect reducing the amount of space available for walking (by forcing cyclists onto the pavement) and marginalising cycling (by treating cyclists as equivalent to pedestrians). And four - they put pedestrians and cyclists into direct conflict, making the cycling experience difficult and making the walking experience unpleasant and dangerous. All of this couldn't suit us better! The more the disincentives to walking and cycling which groups like ACF manage to put into place the lower the uptake of cycling and walking as transport modes around Aberdeen "City and Shire" and the higher the modal share for cars.

Finally, in their newsletter material, ACF are usually keen to picture themselves. In contrast to the trendy aspirational look promoted by successful cycle advocacy groups worldwide (like the infamous Copenhagen Cycle Chic), ACF rock a quite different look.

But which...
...is which?
As everyone in Aberdeen "City and Shire" knows, more cars on more roads is the one and only way to ensure that the necessary economic growth is created to enable Aberdeen to pull the rest of UK plc out of recession. We therefore applaud and thank Aberdeen Cycle Forum for working so hard to put barriers in the way of the uptake of cycling as a mass transportation mode, for their craven kowtowing on behalf of all Aberdeen cyclists to the needs of motor-transport, and for their enviable success in making those cyclists look like total arseholes. Thank you very much.

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