I need your help (again). North Yorkshire County Council are consulting on their local transport plan (LTP). This sets the blueprint for how transport strategy unfolds over the next 5 years.
At the moment when it comes to cycling they are arguing there is no money so they can't do much, this is simply not true, here is what they say in the draft LTP document...
What will we deliver?So in summary "we might do a bit if we can" that is not good enough, it will not bring about the necessary infrastructure changes the cyclists of Harrogate need and it won't fix Skipton Road. There are a few reasons why this crushing lack of ambition is not only a cop out but actively unhelpful.
We will seek to find funding so that we can appoint a Sustainable Travel Officer to provide expertise and information about how developers, employers and communities can plan and coordinate healthier and sustainable travel needs and opportunities within new developments and existing communities.
We will also seek and apply for any available funding to support healthy and active travel whether by us directly, in partnership with other agencies or authorities or by bringing opportunities to the attention of those who are eligible to apply.
We will incorporate appropriate additional training for our planning staff and highways engineers to enable them to understand how they can make small adjustments to new scheme designs and within routine maintenance that will help people to be able to walk or cycle more easily and safely.
The current financial climate and competing demands on the network mean that we are not in a position to plan and install hundreds of miles of off road cycleways or footpaths to satisfy commuters, leisure and sports riders throughout the county area. However, we are keen to support and provide for walkers and cyclists where we can. When funding can be found, we will prioritise our efforts to those places and uses where there is evidence of an existing or emerging cause for concern, where large events have triggered a significant increase in cyclists using a route e.g. Tour de Yorkshire, where new event routes are being proposed, and where existing facilities and routes can be connected through small additional elements
We will continue to take account of pedestrian and cyclists needs in maintenance and in new road schemes and within our planning considerations for new developments.
An elected member who will act as a Champion and advocate for the needs and potential of walking and cycling across council activity in policy and in service planning and delivery.
Sustrans the cycling charity have a really strong track record of working with local government to unlock funding from government. North Yorkshire County Council refuse to work with them currently despite Sustrans being keen.
Harrogate Borough Council have a partially funded Cycling Delivery plan for Harrogate that NYCC would need to deliver, there is no mention of them seeking to deliver this.
The Government infrastructure bill of last year committed to a budget for cycling and walking and there is now a minister for sustainable transport Robert Goodwill. We await funding details but money will be spent where there is clear ambition from local government to make changes. Saying "we might do a bit" is not going to unlock funding.
The Help I need.
This Document is under consultation and your views have to be taken account of. It takes less than five minutes.
you can find the consultation on the LTP here
In the box where you can comment, please feel free to copy and paste something along these lines...
I call on NYCC to spend £10 per head, per annum on cycle infrastructure in the urban areas of the County. Section 3K does not meet your obligations to reduce car use where possible and will not reduce congestion. Further I call on North Yorkshire County Council to work jointly with Harrogate Borough Council to commit to fully implement the Harrogate Cycling Delivery Plan over the life of the LTP.
If you could do that we might make a difference.
Oh and Don Mackenzie is the executive member for transport you can get him here firstname.lastname@example.org.