I know I know, I had retired from this campaigning lark but this one has me spitting feathers. So there is money in the pot for a toucan crossing (bike traffic lights) on Wetherby Road/Slingsby Walk by the hospital. This is part of a government grant for bike infrastructure in Harrogate (LSTF if you are nerdy). What could possibly go wrong?
Without this crossing, on a bike, North Yorkshire Area 6 (transport dept) believe this crossing is dangerous. They are right, I wheel my bike into the road when I'm with my kids here and the cars stop rather than kill me, so my boys can then get across, it requires self belief though. They (Area 6) asked the councils LSTF steering group to consult on this. The steering group is: councillors, Richard Cooper (leader of Harrogate Borough Council), Jean Butterfield and Rebecca Burnett (HBC cycling champion).
This decision then went to NYCC Executive, Gareth Dadd for final decision. Harrogate Cycle Action submitted many emails, supporting the case presented by the Area 6 officers. Last Friday HCA received an email that the NYCC executive had approved the toucan crossing.
Then something a bit odd happened. Monday they received an email from NYCC that the decision had been "wrongly recorded" and that the toucan had been refused. Instead there will be some signs and a rumble strip.
24 hours and things have moved on. Richard is to meet with HCA but seems to be sticking to his and the council's final position on the toucan crossing. Bikey types seem to be the losers again, actually we all lose as it was never a war it was about the bigger picture in a congested urban environment. I have decided to get back out of this campaigning lark as I'm tired of arguing with local government about an agenda that in all honesty they really aren't that interested in.
I guess we get the politicians we deserve and I'm not prepared to do it, good on them that are. I'm going to climb rocks, and run and ride my bike. It's more fun and you die in the end.