Thursday, 5 August 2010

Bob Dylan and Plymouth City Council

I have posted before about my dealings with Plymouth City Council, and I must admit that after having met the man in charge of Sustainable Transport I thought we've made some progress.

You see, he's listened to my frustrations regarding poor cycling infrastructure in the city. When I inquired about Cycling Group he informed me that it wasn't functioning, but that he was setting up a replacement group and that he expected that group to start meeting in April 2010. He also told me that I'd be welcome to join this new group, and that they'd contact me with the first meeting's date, time and location.

We're in August now, and there has been nothing whatsoever from PCC. No contact from their side, no updates and most definitely no new cycling group.

I am disappointed, especially as I believed the man who made all those promises. I believed he actually wanted to move things forward. How wrong I was, it would now seem!

What does it take to get the powers-that-be in Plymouth to start implementing the guidelines from the Department for Transport? What does it take to get them to accept that their 1975 ideas of good practice are outdated and needs to change? How can we get through to them to explain the simple principle that almost every bicycle commuter represents one less car on the roads, which means a reduction in congestion & pollution, while also cutting NHS costs? Why do they seem so unwilling and/or unable to understand the reduction in vehicular road damage that follows an increase in cycling, and why can't/won't they accept the huge cost saving that represents? What does it take to make them believe the facts that prove lower speed limits are an excellent way forward and will lead to far fewer deaths? Why can they not accept that cycling is economically good, doesn't pollute, increases health, increases productivity and by itself is safe?

One of the greatest musicians ever put it far better than I ever could, even though he wasn't actually singing about cycling:

Yes, how many times must a man look up
before he can see the sky?
How many ears must one man have
before he can hear people cry?
Yes and how many deaths will it take till he knows
that too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind
The answer is blowing in the wind