19 December 2006

Walking and Cycling in Coventry

I've stood, a few times now, counting cars in morning rush hour at the roundabout where Earlsdon Library is. Consistently, you have about 1.2 people per car, that is, you sample 20 cars, and there are 20 drivers and 4 passengers.

What if some of the 24 cycled to work? Or walked, or car-shared? Or rode on an extra double-decker bus each hour?

We wouldn't have as much congestion. The air would be cleaner. Each of those former drivers would save on petrol and parking costs.

They would be getting to work on time (that's the thing with cycling and walking, you're in control, and you know it takes exactly 30 min once you leave your door walking, or 15 min if you cycle).

I've sent a letter to the City Services directorate at Coventry City Council, and copied it to Kevin Foster (Con - Cheylesmore), the cabinet member for City Services. I expect I'll have to wait until January for a few answers, but it'll make for interesting reading:

People in Coventry need to be able to make direct,attractive, safe and comfortable journeys by bicycle.More cycle journeys would relieve traffic congestionand reduce emissions. As well, cycling is anaffordable transport option for those most in need,amongst whom car ownership is less common.

I have some questions on cycling policy in Coventry:

- What has been the city council’s spend on cyclepaths/cycling infrastructure, as compared to spending on roadworks/road-related infrastructure? Can you provide me with figures for the years 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07, and for projected 2007/08 and 2008/09?
- What percentage of city council employees cycle regularly to work (say, at least twice per week) … and what targets do you have for staff cycling to work inthe future?
- What actions have been taken, if any, to encourage cycling use amongst private-sector employers with more than 20 employees?
- Will Coventry put some effort into the September 2007 European Without My Car Day?

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