September 2020 Newsletter

Welcome to September! We’re not sure where August has gone, but the cycle campaign has been keeping busy. Read on to find out more about our Ward Pedals, hear our plans for a ‘Fancy Women Bike Ride’, and be inspired to get pedalling this autumn.

Wheel Spiels

Ok, he wrote it in June, but since time no longer has any meaning, this month we’re highlighting Jamie’s blog for Wheels for Wellbeing, about the trials of re-learning how to ride your bike with stabilisers attached – not nearly as easy as you might think!

Ward Pedals

Got cycle issues in your ward? Worried your councillors aren’t giving cycling the localised attention it needs? We know it can feel like discussions are always focussed on the city centre, so this is the opportunity to highlight problems in your neck of the woods.

We’re asking members to take their councillors on a cycle around their ward, highlighting the good, the bad, and the ugly. So far we’ve had volunteers from Bishopthorpe, Clifton, Copmanthorpe, Guildhall, Haxby, Heworth, Heworth Without, Holgate, Micklegate, Rawcliffe and Clifton Without, Rural West and Westfield. If your ward isn’t mentioned here, we still need a representative, so please get in touch! Nobody knows the local streets like you, so let’s put your knowledge to good use.

Later this month we’ll have a Zoom meet to hear how everyone has got on with their ward pedal, and how we can build on this. Please drop us a line at if you would like to get involved.

Fancy Women Bike Ride

As Beyonce famously requested: all the cycle ladies, all the cycle ladies, put your hands up. We’ll be participating in the Fancy Women Bike Ride on Sunday 20th September, a brilliant initiative encouraging more women to cycle and highlighting the specific issues we face. Please join us! We want as many women as possible, in your gladdest of glad rags, so come along and bring your friends. Teaboys, HABs (husbands and boyfriends) and sons are welcome too, but the more women and girls, the better. Bring your daughters, sisters, grannies and aunts!

We’ll be meeting at 5:30pm on Sunday 20th Sept, starting and finishing at the Minster. It’ll be a fully-accessible ride, about 5km, and we’ll be sticking together with marshalls en-route, so kids, newbies, nervous cyclists, and people with disabilities are particularly welcome!

Tranche 2 of the Government Active Travel Fund

There was £650,000 up for grabs in the second round of Government Emergency Active Travel Funding earlier this month. However, we were disappointed that the bid put forward by the council was piecemeal and scattered. Whilst there are some good ideas in the mix, a number of the proposals failed to meet the Government guidance, potentially jeopardising the chances of York being awarded this funding.

We had hoped to see more of a strategic approach and, together with York Civic Trust, had put together a list of suggestions (see attached paper and map). Crucially we felt that this proposal should have tackled at least one of York’s major pinch points, and ideally needed to create a coherent and continuous route, demonstrating how York could feel if a similar approach were adopted across the remainder of the city. On 3rd August we held a ‘go-slow’ protest ride, to highlight our disappointment in the council’s proposals. Right now all we can do is wait and see if York gets the funding.

Tranche 1 of the Government Active Travel Fund

We are concerned that a number of the tranche 1 schemes have not even been started yet. They include the promised ‘pop-up’ cycle lanes on Bootham and Shipton Rd, additional cycle parking in the city centre, and the point closure on Navigation Rd. The Government guidance clearly stated that if the funding is misallocated, and work is not completed within 8 weeks, the money would be clawed back. It would be a tragedy if York lost out on this amazing opportunity to improve its cycle provision. With funding allocated and a council-approved bid, we ask: what is stopping these schemes being initiated?

A pedal around the lakes, ponds and rivers of York

Did you follow our lovely Stained Glass Tour in a previous newsletter? Our resident route-planners have come up with three fab new trails for you to follow, this time around York’s waterways. They’re family-friendly and all under three hours. We were particularly excited to read that one particular pond contains turtles! What a great excuse to get out of the house and do some rural exploring. Make sure you tag us (@yorkcycle) in any tweets or instagrams of your adventures!

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