Monday, 17 February 2014

Decision day: what will BANES say to cyclists?

Today is going to be when Bath and NE Somerset council decided what to do about the flooded railway path.

The path goes through three of the CUBA councils, each of which reacts differently -showing how they view cycling

  • Bristol: path would have been cleared by now, perhaps better drainage added. After all, something similar (but less drastic) happened last winter.
  • S Gloucs: unmaintained overgrowth would have blocked all drainage; council would do nothing. 
  • Bath: thinks about what to do
At least the path is not in North Somerset -their attitude to cycling is public: they wish they'd go away.

In Bath, "a decision could be made to pump the water away."

This is more than just a decision on the technical feasibility issues, or on the cost involved. It is a decision whether the needs of people trying to cycle round the area are considered to matter by the council.

While a lot of people in the city no doubt view it as a leisure route for families in summer, it is a key commuter route for cyclists -the safe route between Bristol and Bath. It takes them straight into the city centre, or lets them curve north to the ring-road path, where they can get to the North Fringe.

Except nobody can when the Bath entrance is under half a metre of water and the council does nothing about it.

If they do agree to pump it, it says: we care about cycling as a form of transport. Which means they may go on to listen to the cyclists about other issues: safety on the bridges, the London Road debacle, where the locals-only consultation is proposing replacing the shared off road path/short stay parking with ASLs in the truck blind-spots that weekday congestion will render unreachable. 

If they say "no, too expensive", or make up some technical excuse "land ownership; engineering, ...", they are sending a different message: cyclists -fuck off.