Ahead of our Kidical Mass event we sent the below letter to the council to explain why we were holding the ride, and what cycling could mean for York’s children.
Dear City of York Council,
On Sunday 19 September 2021, as part of York Environment Week, York Cycle Campaign is organising a family-friendly Kidical Mass event. We had originally intended that the ride should pass the Minster but the lack of safe cycling infrastructure on routes leading to the city centre, and the absence of a cycle-friendly route through the city centre means that we could not ensure the safety of participants. As a consequence, we have had to choose an alternative itinerary through the University campus. This highlights the fact that cycling in York is all too often dangerous and difficult, particularly for inexperienced and vulnerable road-users such as children.
York Cycle Campaign believes that cycling can play a vital role in:
- safeguarding the physical health of York’s children: cycling can reduce the risk of obesity and associated long term chronic illness such as diabetes. An increase in cycling will decrease air-borne pollution from traffic and reduce asthma and related health complications
- boosting the well-being of York’s children: cycling improves mental health and promotes independence, enabling children from walks of life to travel cheaply and independently to school and for leisure
- promoting the long-term survival of York’s children: helping York to meet its carbon-neutral commitment and address the climate crisis which poses a critical threat to future generations.
The Campaign therefore calls upon the Council to take action to ensure that cycling in York is safe, convenient and accessible for York’s children and their parents and carers. Promotion activities (e.g. Bike to School Week) and training (e.g. Bikeability) are welcome but these fail York’s children in the absence of safe cycling infrastructure.
The Campaign therefore asks the Council to:
- produce a Local Transport Plan and Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (CWIP Local which meet the expectations of the Government’s vision for cycling and walking (Gear Change) and its guidance (LTN 1/20) on cycle provision, which emphasises the need for high quality, segregated cycle paths;
- ensure that all developments and re-developments in York provide cycling infrastructure to LTN 1/20 standards;
- fast track improvements to cycling infrastructure, to LTN 1/20 standards, on key routes to York’s nurseries, primary and secondary schools;
- introduce ‘school streets’, temporary restrictions on motorised traffic outside schools at drop-off and pick-up times.
We look forward to your response and hope to be able to work with City of York Council on the actions we ask for.
York Cycle Campaign