North Yorkshire County Council have just approved their Local transport Plan (LTP4). This sets out how they will do transport stuff for the next 5 years. The original draft barely mentioned cycling.
Kevin Douglas at Harrogate and District Cycle Action wasn't having that. He wrote a lengthy and forensic discourse about why we need more cycling in Harrogate and why North Yorkshire County Council need to crack on. As a result cycling is all over the new document like a rash. We have commitments to actually try and do something about utility cycling in Harrogate, there will be a council Cycling Champion and a Sustainable Transport Officer on the council, this is grand news.
There is an acceptance as a theme in the plan that you won't fix Harrogate's traffic chaos by making it easier for people to drive cars, but rather by getting them to sometimes make different choices when they travel. Now as ever it is not un-alloyed joy, NYCC are arguing there is no money, but a leopard does not change its spots overnight and this represents a massive step forward.
Oh and as ever life is not quite as simple as it appears. There is still the question of devolved government for Harrogate. Which might put us as a town in a group with Leeds and out transport policy and funding would be taken away from NYCC. I guess we will know what is happening by the end of the year, maybe sooner. Personally I reckon follow the money and go with the other large urban conurbation in the area but we shall see what we see. If this doesn't happen NYCC are the people we need to deal with.
This LTP is good news though, mainly because if NYCC try and continue with it's frankly poor car centric transport policies in Harrogate, we now as bike activists and sustainable transport wonks have a stick with which to beat them. Believe me I will continue my partisan middle aged whinging going forward. Now where did I put my stick? Nice work Kevin.
Oh and should you be the kind of sad weirdo (much like myself) who actually wants to read the 140 page LTP you can find it here the cycling bit is section 3j it's toward the end.