On Wednesday the Liverpool Cycle Forum met at Millenium House on Victoria St in town, representative from many groups were there, the council, Merseytravel, Sustrans, Merseyside Cycling Campaign and a number of others.
There were some interesting discussions although I found it to be a bit too focused on the south of the city, I guess that’s where most people were from.
It was the first meeting since the Times’ Cities fit for Cycling Campaign took off, it appeared as an item on the agenda and I went expecting some renewed enthusiasm, some vigour, finally the media are listening, grab the moment and run with it, if the Times can put it’s weight behind cycling then the possibilities are endless, like Nixon going to China.
It didn’t quite turn out like that. To be honest I was quite disappointed. The attitude seemed to be that the Times will forget about it soon enough so we shouldn’t get involved with them, the forum didn’t consider supporting it or asking the council to support the campaign. I did wonder if there was a bit of a sandal wearing, Guardian reading, anti-Murdoch undercurrent, but that might have just been me projecting.
The Times’ campaign has made cycling more high profile than at any time in my life yet the local campaign groups pretty much wanted to ignore it and wanted the council to ignore it. I’m guessing they have invested a lot of time and effort in their own attempts to improve things and perhaps it would be annoying for them if the Times swooped in and brushed all that aside. Unfortunately, from what I have seen of cycling infrastructure in Liverpool their achievements over the last many years have been rather modest, where there is infrastructure it is usually of poor quality, perhaps they should have embraced the Times’ kick up the arse.