Spokes East Kent
Annual General Meeting
The Spokes AGM will take place on Monday 26 March at 7.30pm in the Friends Meeting House, Canterbury.
In addition to the normal AGM business, we hope to have speakers from Kent County Council to update us on their training programmes for new and inexperienced cyclists and the development of cycling infrastructure.
A formal notice and agenda for the AGM will be sent to members shortly.
Spokes monthly rides
Sunday March 4 - Chequers Inn, Doddington
Nigel James will be leading this 25 mile (40km) ride through the quiet lanes and beautiful countryside between Teynham and the Chequers Inn at Doddington.
The ride is suitable for all bikes and leaves Teynham Railway Station at 10.30.
Read this! Now!
We are changing the way we collect and use personal information to keep in touch with our members and supporters so we comply with the new data protection regulations which come into force in May 2018.
We will be contacting Spokes members to ask them to review the information we have about them and to let us know their communication preferences. As Spokes is not a wealthy organisation, we'll be doing most of this online with alternatives available for people who prefer other ways of doing this.
Regarding online subscriptions to Update and Mudguard, we will be asking subscribers, including Spokes members, to confirm they want to receive these publications by signing-up to new mailing lists.
More information about what members and subscribers must do to opt-in to receiving communications from Spokes will be published in the March issue of Update.
We aim to have completed updating our membership database and subscription lists by 25 May 2018, when the new regulations apply. If you have not confirmed your membership details by this date the only - and last - communication you will receive from us will be a membership renewal notice when this becomes due. If you have not re-subscribed to our email newsletters by this date, your records will be deleted.
As part of the review of how we use personal information, we're also looking at the usage data from our website, Facebook page and other online resources to clarify what usage information is available and how we could use it - currently we don't do anything with it - to develop an online data usage policy before May.
Canterbury West multi-storey car park
Canterbury City Council seem determined to press ahead with their plans for a £9 million plus car park at Canterbury West station despite opposition from practically everyone affected by this development.
Spokes has formally objected to the plan. You can see our comments on the council's website, along with over 100 other objections. Go to www.canterbury.gov. uk, click on the Planning and building link, then Search & comment on applications and then search for CA//17/02915. Thursday 8 March is the closing date for objections to the plan.
Air pollution in Canterbury
Community action on air quality
Canterbury Clean Air are holding a public meeting on Saturday 10 March to discuss air pollution and air quality in the city.
The meeting is being held at the Friends' Meeting House, 6 The Friars, Canterbury CT1 2AS from 2.00 - 4.30pm. Speakers include Tim Baker from the Air Quality Monitoring Unit at Kings College, London, Dr Ashley Mills from Canterbury Clean Air and Rosie Duffield, MP.
More information is available from www.canterburycleanair.org.
Enjoy the flowers - while you can
New Scientist (Silence of the plants, 17 February 2018, page 32) reports that recent research shows that air pollution, particularly diesel exhaust, reacts with the chemicals released by plants. This changes their 'bouquet' causing problems for pollinators and the plants themselves which could, potentially, destabilise local ecosystems.
We all know that air pollution kills people but it now seems that it affects plants too. Of course the government won't do anything about this nor will councils - they can't even manage to provide clean air for people let alone plants. And who cares about plants anyway.
Fortunately, we don't have to rely on others to save our plants and flowers - all we have to do is plant more of them. Although the new plants will be affected by pollution, if there are enough of them they can still thrive and make places green and pleasant for people, insects and animals. Petunias are, apparently, good for cleaning up pollution, liked by pollinators and easy to come by.
So, if you're not going out on your bike this weekend, a stroll to the garden centre could be worthwhile.
Driver training, testing and licensing
A new briefing from Cycling UK looks at driver training, testing and licencing. It proposes many ways in which cyclists' safety can be improved through better driver training. For example, it suggests that driving test candidates should be strongly encouraged to undertake cycle training, unless they have already completed Bikeability Level 3 cycle training.
Traditionally, cyclists' safety has been seen as something cyclists are responsible for but integrating cycle awareness into driver training can only have good results and improve safety for all road users.
So, should we be lobbying Kent County Council to provide courses such as this? Email email@example.com if you think this is a good idea. If enough people are interested, we'll build a campaign to push for this.