In the last newsletter I asked if anyone wanted to offer a local ride as as an alternative to the ‘Late Spring Break’. David and Chris quickly responded – see the details below. Thanks. I’m assuming that those taking part in the ‘Break’ have all made their arrangements. I hope there will a report -or reports -on it in either the next newsletter or the one following.
We’ve got a lot of things to report in this issue including Jim’s message about Emergency Contact lists, Angela’s report on the Transport Hustings, as well as a report on the Easter Meet in York. I’m also including a final outing for Roger’s message about the Cycle Challenge. On this, Roger has passed on to me this message from Andy Winter
Brighton Housing Trust is seeking to borrow an adult tricycle to be used on the Preston Park Velodrome on 19th May as part of BHT’s Around the World Cycle Challenge. Any offers, please, to email@example.com and for further information about the event, please see http://www.bht.org.uk
Please contact Andy of you can help. For my adventures – or misadventures – at the Easter Meet see Sue’s report below.
Emergency Contact List
Included in the Clarion membership list is a field where members can fill in contact details for a close friend or relative to be contacted in the event of an emergency. Not all members have filled this in, but some have.
We all hope, of course, that this information will never be needed; nevertheless, we should be prepared in case it is. Therefore I have made copies of this section of the membership list and put them in sealed envelopes, which I will post to ride leaders. Because the information contained in the list may be sensitive, the envelopes should only be opened in an emergency. Anyone who leads a ride and hence receives such an envelope should ensure they take it on the ride, and then keep it in a safe place for the next ride they lead.
If the information is updated, I will issue a new list to all relevant people.
Jim Grozier Acting Assistant Membership Secretary.”
Transport Hustings,Thursday 25 April 2019 – Angela (D) ‘s Report,
An event organised by Bricycles, Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth, Community Works and Brighton and Hove Clarion. Brenda Pollack was in the chair, and four political parties were represented: Conservatives – Lee Wares Labour – Daniel Yates Greens – Pete West Lib Dems – Christian Chadwick
Brenda introduced Stephen Joseph, who was CEO of the Campaign for Better Transport for 30 years. In his keynote speech Stephen made some excellent points about transport. He said we should be asking people ‘What kind of world do you want?’ He noted the trend for young people to be driving less and buying fewer cars and for rail to be overtaking cars as a means of commuting. He outlined the challenges we are facing where individual demands for personal car journeys are going to become impossible and are anyway not desirable. Transport is now the biggest source of greenhouse gas and needs to change; electric cars are not the answer – he referred to a report by Friends of the Earth: https://policy.friendsoftheearth.uk/publications/more-electric-cars
New housing estates are being built without public transport, cycle lanes or even basic pavements for walking – developers can get away with this by claiming it is not viable. http://www.transportfornewhomes.org.uk/
Stephen said nationally we spend money on roads, not on walking, cycling, buses or maintenance for roads. This is also an issue for social justice; people are left isolated and unable to get to basic facilities such as shops, or able to take up work opportunities.
There is an opportunity for better bus services with a new act of parliament that allows councils to run services. Stephen highlighted the good bus service we have in Brighton and Hove, but he did not mention some of the chiselling away of that service that is taking place. Stephen also talked about reopening railway lines– our local Lewes to Uckfield line is a case in point. He also talked about the success of mini Hollands in London, creating better walking and cycling facilities and designing ‘pocket parks’:https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/cycling/routes-and-maps/cycle-mini-hollands
Stephen talked about changing strategy – public transport policy currently assumes that anyone who has a car won’t use a bus – although he didn’t mention the success of the pensioners’ bus pass in getting passengers, even those with cars, onto buses. There are innovative ways of paying for public transport improvements – Nottingham has a levy on workplace parking which now has all party support. Money from this goes to trams, a fleet of electric buses and better stations and bus shelters.
He finished by recommending us to imagine the sort of city we wanted and then designing our city around that vision.
All the candidates talked for three minutes.
Lee Wares (Con) waffled about what citizens wanted and thought a review would be a good idea. He said what was done before might not be best for now.
Pete West (Green) talked about a turning point in history and used a lot of clichés, such as ‘last roll of dice’, ‘half-baked ideas’ and so on. However, he did offer a few concrete proposals about enforcing 20 mph and having a strategic bus network. He talked vaguely about ‘going Dutch’ but without offering any idea about finance.
Christian Chadwick (Lib Dem) talked about supporting Brighton and Hove buses with electrification and better infrastructure for electric cars. He also wanted to improve the cycle network and thought park and ride would reduce congestion, and he called for more maintenance of pavements and roads.
Daniel Yates (Lab) also managed to waffle about Brighton being stuck between sea and Downs and with old streets not designed for cars. He said we should concentrate on moving people, not vehicles but we need to change people’s mindset. However, he was pleased 60% of people in the city used sustainable transport to get to work.
The chair usefully pointed out that the speakers did not differentiate between their own views and that of their manifesto. None of them tackled the key issues facing transport in the city; they failed to look at funding, they did not address re-imagining people’s idea of a city and they did not address climate change. Little was said about a viable walking and cycling policy that would get people out of cars and on to their feet or their pedals.
Brenda then invited questions from the floor and also read out questions. One key question was whether the candidates supported the Valley Gardens project, which is strongly supported by Bricycles, Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth, Community Works and Brighton and Hove Clarion Campaigns Officer. Tories don’t want it, Labour is fully committed, Lib Dems against and Greens support it.
I asked a question at the end ‘Would the candidates support digging up the seafront road and putting in two cycle lanes instead of having four lanes of traffic?’ I asked for a yes or no answer – Tories no, Lib Dems yes, Labour equivocated, Greens yes. Thanks to all the Clarion members who attended.
Angela Devas, Campaigns person, Brighton and Hove Clarion.
Easter Meet Report
We stayed with my brother in Nottingham the day before Good Friday so it didn’t take us long to get to York – even more crowded with sightseers than usual. We were staying near the impressive Mickelgate Bar so we climbed up onto the medieval wall and soon were able to spot the Railway Institute below, which was to be the site of all the ‘inside’ activities of the Meet.
The first of these was the annual conference which began there at 3 pm. Ian had already volunteered to chair the meeting – but then got carried away and when no-one else offered themselves as Chair for the following year he couldn’t resist agreeing to stand himself and was duly elected.
Fortunately, from Ian’s point of view, there was nothing very contentious on the agenda. All the national committee’s motions were accepted without opposition. We had agreed at our AGM to oppose the North Cheshire proposals to abandon ‘hard ‘ versions of both membership cards and Boots and Spurs if they were to be the subject of motions. Instead there was a less formal discussion of both. On the issue of membership cards it was decided to consult the membership by means of a survey, while there was very little support for making the magazine available only as an e-book. During the discussion Ian repeated Jim’s point from our AGM concerning people who found screens difficult, or even impossible, to use for medical reasons.
There were the usual cycling events of both racing and leisure kinds on Saturday and Sunday. We saw the club run going off and Ian regretted that he had not been up to bringing his bike and taking part. Instead we did the usual tourist things – visiting the Minster, the Castle museum, walking some more of the walls, and taking a boat trip on the Ouse. We also revisited the National Railway Museum where, apart from other famous locomotives, we spotted ‘Gladstone’, resplendent in ‘Stroudley green’ (something like the colour of Dijon mustard) made at the Brighton Works in 1882. It reminded us how important being one of the first railway towns had been for Brighton’s development.
On Saturday evening we returned to the Railway Institute for a performance by its own very accomplished brass band which was greatly appreciated. The annual dinner also took place there on the Sunday – without the advertised guest speaker Ede Harrison, who we were told had ‘gone off on a long ride without us’ – presumably due to a misunderstanding about dates. The usual silverware was awarded to individual winners and sections, including the one we were awarded in our early days.
Ian and I didn’t return direct to Brighton but spent a day in Hawes, where we visited the well-known Wensleydale Creamery founded in the mid-1890s like the Clarion CC and another day in Beverley where the Easter Meet took place a few years ago. Ian reminded me that decades earlier he stayed at the youth hostel there on his ‘Victoria station to Hadrian’s Wall’ ride. Fred will be pleased to hear that we made sure to revisit Nellie’s, the gas lamp-lit pub.
I’ll circulate the minutes of the annual conference later Ian
Message from Roger
We all love a challenge (I hope)
Slotted neatly between the 12th May ride and 26th May, is the Greater Brighton Cycle Challenge.
I must of course declare an interest. I’m a trustee of Brighton Housing Trust (BHT) which organises the event. As a result, I’ve had a chance to learn about the work that this wonderful organisation does and to meet some of the people it has been able to help.
It is not just a social landlord. Much of its work is about supporting people who are coping with addiction and mental health problems, and the threat of homelessness that they create.
The Cycle Challenge is an opportunity to raise funds for BHT or for any other charity you choose. I know that some Clarion members have already signed up for one of the longer rides. If you’re not wanting to do 30 or 60 miles, why not join me for a few laps at the Preston Park Velodrome as part of the Around the World Challenge.
Every lap you complete will be counted and will contribute to the target of 66,792 which, if achieved, would get us all the way round the world. Last year, on a pretty hot day, I managed 30 laps. Apparently, we got as far as southern Australia!
You can do as many laps as you like, with as many breaks as you want for tea etc. It starts at 8am and finishes at 5pm. If you can round up some sponsors then you can donate the proceedings to BHT or any other charity of your choice.
You can register on-line. It costs £15 (concessions £5) or £25 for a family. I’ll see you on the way round!