Spokes rides and events
Folkestone to Botolphs Bridge
Sunday 1 March
Meet at Folkestone West Station (South (sea) side) at 11am
A 15 mile round trip to Botolphs Bridge via National Cycle Route 2. This is a flat, easy, mainly off-road ride, apart from the climb back to the station, with shelter from any wind on the way out, so the wind can blow us back! We will pick up anyone who drives and wants to avoid the short climb, at the Sea Point car park. Ride leader: Paul Rees (email@example.com/07858 517080).
Richborough Connection project
The Richborough Connection project is a new overhead electricity connection between Richborough and Canterbury. It will connect the Nemo Link - an electricity link between Herdersbrug in Bruges and Richborough - to the UK's high voltage electricity network. Spokes received an email from the project's Senior Stakeholder Advisor alerting us to the next phase of the construction work between Canterbury and Richborough. This work will involve large plant using and crossing roads in the area which may present dangers to cyclists and other road users. The busiest areas will be Gore Street, Nethergong Hill, Hoath Road, Shalloak Road and Herne Bay Road. The construction sites are well signed and maintained but, sadly, some road users have failed to observe the signage and instructions putting themselves and the workforce at risk. The routes and areas affected by the Connection project are shown on these maps. Take care.
Government fails to fund cycling and walking
Boris Johnson has pledged to make the country “the cleanest, greenest on earth”. Fantastic, but how? Reducing car dependency, particularly for short journeys, is one of the obvious answers, but that requires investment to enable more people to ditch the car and walk or cycle instead.
When published, the Transport for Quality of Life report commissioned by the Department for Transport is expected confirm that, there needs to be an immediate doubling of investment in active travel, and then another doubling, for the Government to have any chance of achieving its cycling and walking targets.
Incredibly, the Conservative manifesto didn’t promise an increase, or to maintain current investment. Instead, it set out plans which would slash the money spent. Their manifesto promises a new £350 million Cycling Infrastructure Fund spread over 5 years - £70 million per annum. If there’s nothing else, that would be mean reducing spending to a quarter of the current level. This isn’t just a long term crisis either, because currently there is absolutely zero money earmarked for local authorities for cycling and walking infrastructure for the year from April 2020 onwards.
Cycling Tory voters - this is your fault. We hope you will try to remedy this by personally pressuring your MPs and councillors to reverse the policy. If not, please write an article for Update justifying your lack of action.
More details from Cycling UK's website.
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Volunteers with 'wheel potential'
We often hear about the impact of volunteers on others but what about the benefit volunteers take from helping others? Earlier this month, Cycling UK celebrated International Volunteer Day - and they chose Spokes member Beatrice Shire as their 'poster-cyclist'. Cycling UK's website tells the how Beatrice launched an inclusive cycling project- Wheel Potential - project that enables people with disabilities to go out for rides. You can find the article on Cycling UK's website and more about Wheel Potential from their site.
Update, November 2019
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Canterbury air pollution : the invisible killer
The Rolled Up Hearing regarding the legal challenge to the Canterbury Local Plan on air pollution grounds is to be heard at the Royal Courts of Justice on Tuesday 25 February 2020.
The challenge is being crowd-funded and just over £5000 is needed towards the £10,000 legal costs. More about the case and ways to donate from the Crowd Justice site. Just in case you need convincing how important this... The Guardian has a good summary of why tackling air pollution is urgently needed - air pollution now ranks among the top 10 major risk factors for attributable death worldwide and leads to an average loss of life expectancy of approximately one year in Europe.