Undertaking this distasteful work, once or twice, we have had to report back from our trips to those outer limits with bad news for the drivers of Aberdeen Cars. So, you can imagine our exultant delight when we notice that vegetarian tree-hugging tax-dogers at Spokes (the Edinburgh and Lothian Cycling Campaign) have got their lycra bib-tight thingiess in a twist at the forthcoming slashing of the budget for "Cycling, Walking and Safer Streets".
CYCLING AND WALKING : a Scottish Government 2012-13 disaster
The Scottish Government draft 2012-13 budget, now being consulted on, is a disaster for walking and cycling. Total transport spending rises from £1804m in 11-12 to £1884m in 12-13, thanks to a near £100m boost for trunk roads and motorways from £558m to £655m. In contrast to that huge and growing total, the meagre sums devoted to active travel are being slashed.Naturally, we are delighted that this is what is coming to pass, what with that big boost in the budget for the trunk roads and motorways which we love. So far, so good.
But then, Citizen Contributer "Ali" emailed firstname.lastname@example.org and wrote to us to tell of a potential threat to this enlightented policy of getting shot of this useless contribution of our hard-earned road-and-fuel-tax contributions to freeloading cyclists and pestestrains. "Ali" says:
Dear Mr Skidmark,Firstly, thanks "Ali" for your contribution, we appreciate it. But please don't worry! The subversive group you mention: the self-styled "Aberdeen Cycle Forum" (ACF) are a nest of quisling pro-motorcar activists and are actually on our side!
It seems budgets are all the rage this week - King Alex and his Merry Men have recently issued the draft one for the Scottish Executive (err sorry I mean Government). Excellent news for the motorist with vastly increased spending on roads and a significant reduction in cycling on "active travel". Yes thats right, less and less for those freeloading walkers and cyclists, AMAZING!
Unfortunately that well known subversive group the "Aberdeen Cycle Forum" seems to be plotting against the government:
If we are not carefull this could lead to an overthrow of the car owning democracy that we are, and indeed of King Alex himself. Please publicise this risk through your most excellent publication.
You just have to think about it...
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.
|Sling up a sign. That's all that's needed to keep|
the cyclists quiet, and more importantly -
out of our goddam way!
- 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.
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.
Keep up the good work!