Wednesday 30 January 2013

Infrastructure Investment?!

I've blabbered on at length on these pages about the need for infrastructure investment. I'm sure you all know where I stand on this. If we want more people to cycle, we need to make it feel safe and be safe. we need to invest in cycling infrastructure. So I was very interested when my local council (East Dunbartonshire) announced that £5.325m would be spent on infrastructure projects in 2012-13 and for £21.5m to be spent in all between now and 2017.

There can be no doubt that lots needs to be spent on the roads in the area. On some of the roads I cycle there are more potholes than road. However, I was left flummoxed by the article. Reading it I couldn't work out how much of that budget was being spent on cycling infrastructure.

It would certainly appear that a lot is being spent on the roads themselves, and on paths for walkers, but what about cyclists? Sure, you could argue that clearing the roads of potholes will help, but that only helps current cyclists, it is unlikely to encourage many new cyclists. So I've written the following short letter to the council as follows:

Dear Cllr,

As a resident of East Dunbartonshire I was very grateful to read the news in the Milngavie Herald today that you are going to be spending money on infrastructure over the rest of this financial year and onwards towards 2017. In the article it is suggested that you will be spending £5.325m in the current financial year with an ongoing commitment to spend £21.5m between now and 2017.

As someone who cycles from Torrance to the south side of Glasgow daily, and as a core organiser of Pedal on Parliament, a campaign group which is asking central and local government to set aside funds from transport budgets for cycling infrastructure, can I ask, what percentage of this proposed spend will be set aside to improve the cycling infrastructure in East Dunbartonshire?

Cycle infrastructure in East Dunbartonshire is either in a terrible state, very poorly designed, very poorly connected or in most situations non-existent. Therefore, as I know that the council is committed to increasing active travel I am sure that spending on cycling infrastructure is one of your priority areas.

Thank you for your help in this matter and I look forward to your reply.

Best regards

Dr David Brennan

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