2013 Conference at Eden Court, Inverness. Alison Johnstone MSP was attending and kindly took time out to meet some members of the Highland Cycle Campaign (HCC).
The Highlands cover a large area but there were HCC representatives from all over.
Alison was keen to learn about some of the many issues concerning HCC.
[Pictured: Tess, Alison, ZenBike, Brian, Anne]
Dr Gus Jones (Strathspey)
- New Housing Development. A local issue with national consequences where the interests of a small rural community are up against large business and the likely loser is the environment.
Brian MacKenzie (Inverness)
- Flood Alleviation Scheme. The Highland Council has spent a lot of time preparing for this.The construction phase is just beginning.
- The Golden Bridge. The one-piece 84 metre span of the bridge was lowered into position in April 2013. Video (jump to 4:55). Opening date still unknown. Work continues on the end ramps and steps.
- Prince Charlie Way. Part of this is planned to provide a cycle route connecting the City Centre to the Golden Bridge. Some ideas from HCC here.
Anne Thomas and Gerard Church (Black Isle)
- Transition Black Isle. The Million Miles project focuses on safer, greener, more sociable travel. And cycling continues to be a particular success.
- The Kessock Bridge Upgrade. Early in Phase 1 of the project, HCC provided detailed feedback of problems. The signage for cyclists (and pedestrians) was particularly misleading. Transport Scotland seemed to adopt a superior attitude and failed to engage in any genuine support of cycling policy. Touring cyclists were still getting lost as late as July 2013. It is hoped that Phase 2 will be better.
In addition, HCC is also active at a national level:
- Cycling needs more realistic funding. The current cycling funding for the whole of Scotland is only 5% of a single project, dualling the A9. Whereas cycling should be 10% of the Transport budget.
- Transport Scotland needs a dedicated team for cycling. This would include engineers with a professional understanding of quality cycle provision. The goal being real priority to encourage and increase all forms of cycling.
- Stronger backing from Government to advance cycling. Government needs to get tough with landowners who stand in the way of cycle schemes for no good reason.
Your comments are welcome.