CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Cycling News

Cycling Action Plan for Scotland

(85 posts)
  • Started 10 months ago by Morningsider
  • Latest reply from fimm

  1. Morningsider
    Member

    The revised Cycling Action Plan for Scotland has just been published.

    http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/files/CAPS_2013_-_final_draft_-_17_June_2013_-_unjustified_by_comms_0.pdf

    Key points include:

    The "Vision" of 10% of all trips to be made by bike by 2020 has been subtly changed to read "10% of everyday journeys taken in Scotland will be by bike" - obviously an easier target to reach, as "everyday" trips can mean pretty much anything you like.

    Establish an annual cycling summit between Transport Minister and council transport convenors.

    Follow-up to Smarter Choices/Smarter Places programme to consist of disseminating best practice.

    Scottish Government assistance (for 2 years) for local authorities to develop cycle plans - identifying infrastructure improvements and promotional activity (no commitment to build it - just to identify it).

    More cycle training for adults and children.

    More encouraging, supporting, cajoling, exhorting, advertising, campaigning etc.

    No budget figures and a torturous justification that areas with higher cycling levels spend more money because they have more cyclists, where areas with few cyclists spend little on cycling because there are few cyclists and that you can't compare the two.

    Most outrageous claim for not investing in cycling "Allocations to transport projects are made by evidence-gathering, public consultations and various impact assessments, and so it would be inappropriate to arbitrarily allocate definite amounts of investment without carrying out the necessary due diligence." - there is currently no business case for the £3bn A9 dualling and the £3bn A96 dualling projects.

    Overall, probably even more disappointing than I was expecting. No budget, no interim targets - plenty of plan but no action. There is no way this plan will result in the 10% modal share "vision" being met.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  2. chdot
    Admin

    This was this morning's 'photo opportunity' for CAPS.

    http://sciennesactivetravel.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/sciennes-cyclists-meet-minister.html

    At one point the intention was that the Minister would cycle from the Bike Station.

    But that didn't happen.

    "More cycle training for adults and children."

    Must read that. The SG is still refusing to allow any of its money to be spent on delivering Bikeability in schools - ie paying experienced trainers.

    Stuck with the 'volunteer model' mindset as more 'sustainable'.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  3. Kim
    Member

    Well "everyday journeys" is better that "commuter journeys" which it looked like it was going to be, although a lot of the talk from KB recently have been about "commuter journeys". Also he seems to have been impressed by the "relaxed riding style" that he saw in NL.

    The whole "shared vision" thing just show a total lack of leadership and without leadership we are going to struggle to get anywhere. So the grass root campaigning will have to continue as Cycling Scotland are more interested in putting out pointless Ad campaigns instead of working for real change. I also feel sorry for the poor Ad man who gets used as a human shield when this half bake crap gets trotted out.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  4. ExcitableBoy
    Member

    Morningsider said "There is no way this plan will result in the 10% modal share "vision" being met."
    Couldn't agree more.
    So is this because they are incapable of bringing about the change required, or that they don't really care and it is all a smokescreen/ hot air?

    Posted 10 months ago #
  5. Morningsider
    Member

    I'm certain the Scottish Government could ensure the 10% target was met. I'm sure they would like it to be met, just not enough to really do anything about it.

    This is a Government that is committed to two road dualling projects (A9 and A96) with a combined cost of £6bn. Neither has a published business case and it is highly unlikely either project could ever be justified on safety, economic, environmental or any other grounds you cared to pick. Imagine they cancelled just one and allocated £3bn to cycling and walking (say at £100m per year for 30 years). What would our cycling infrastructure look like after six years (2020), i.e. after an investment of £600m? I firmly believe that if you build high quality cycle infrastructure in cities and towns then people will use it.

    It's not that there's no money, it's just that the Scottish Government chooses to spend it on roads. Yes, most road projects are local authority projects. However, the Scottish Government could easily develop a national cycle infrastructure investment plan in partnership with local authorities with a costed investment programme backed up by the funds to implement it. They could even call it something like the "Cycling action plan for Scotland"...

    Posted 10 months ago #
  6. CalumCookable
    Member

    I'm just going to leave this here:

    http://crapwalthamforest.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/ctc-releases-new-cycling-action-plan.html

    "A Cycling Action Plan involves three simple stages.

    Firstly, decide on your favourite modal share target (10 per cent is a very popular figure, for example). Be sure to set the target at least ten years in the future.

    Secondly, tell all your friends how the target will be achieved with the aid of poster campaigns, winning respect for cycling, and cycle training.

    A free extra-loud ‘Be Careful What You Wish For’ whistle is included to blow at at those who would lose us ‘the right to ride’ by their unrealistic demands for Dutch-style segregated cycle paths.

    Thirdly, spend the next ten years singing along to the Vehicular Cycling Campaign song, otherwise known as ‘Drifting and Dreaming’"

    Posted 10 months ago #
  7. DdF
    Member

    Totally agree with Morningsider. The contrast between govt trunk road spending and govt cycle investment is a, or the, key issue for campaigning. £3000m for A9, £3000m for A96, £1500m Forth Bridge, £750m Ab bypass (these are only the more costly ones). Agreed, these are over a number of years, but still talking £500m+ a year on average. c.f. Cycling £20m a year, as shown in Spokes CAPS report and tables in bulletins [usually page 6 or 7].

    Also the road schemes are not covered by the National Planning Framework NPF3 [Spokes bulletin 116, p6], which I think means they are excluded from requiring a Strategic Environmental Assessment [can anyone confirm this?] As Morningsider implies, these trunk road schemes appear to be political decisions not supported by decent evidence.

    The govt is very disingenuous to stick to its 10% target/vision when it is patently obvious that it can't be met with anything like the current £20m p.a.

    NB, M says that most road projects are local authority schemes - true in total number, but most of the above are trunk road schemes and so are Scottish Government projects. I suspect the govt will be spending a lot more cash in total on the above trunk roads than all councils put together on local road schemes [not that they are necessarily all justified either!!].

    Posted 10 months ago #
  8. Morningsider
    Member

    DdF - the trunk road schemes will have to be subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment, but as they are individual schemes they are very unlikely to be subject to a Strategic Environmental Assessment. I appreciate this might seem arcane - but an EIA simply exists to come up with ways of reducing the impact of a scheme, an SEA looks at much wider issues.

    My last post wasn't very well worded. What I meant to say is that most cycle schemes are local authority schemes and the Scottish Government argues that they can't do anything to assist with these, unlike trunk road schemes which are their responsibility. I hoped to show that this was nonsense and the Scottish Government could easily create a mechanism to support local authority cycle schemes - backed up by robust plans that identify the best cycle infrastructure investments. Unlike the current, piecemeal investments in a random bag of unrelated (and often rubbish) infrastructure.

    The Transport Scotland press release to accompany the revised CAPS is fun:

    http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/news/cycling-action-plan-scotland-relaunch

    Ohhh, £34,000 - why that's 0.000013% of the cost of dualling the A9!

    Posted 10 months ago #
  9. SRD
    Member

    I'll try to come up with something more thoughtful and analytical later on, but now:

    http://deceasedcanine.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/craps.html

    Posted 10 months ago #
  10. DdF
    Member

    Funding (and the roads contrast) is undoubtedly the top issue, and there is zero hope of reaching the 2020 nirvana without that; but in the interests of fairness, it is worth pointing out that there are some steps forward.

    IMO the most important is probably the annual summit of council transport convenors (councillors) and heads of transport (officers) hosted by the transport minister. It is quite obvious that some councils are far more committed than others. Edinburgh's budget decision (now at 6% of transport funding going to cycling investment) is outstanding, with no other council allocating any fixed % at all, and nearly half allocating zero of their own money (i.e. relying entirely on what outside money they can raise and on the govermnet's CWSS fund). With council top transport people 'summoned' by the minister annually, this will probably kickstart things in some councils.

    Of course if all councils followed Edinburgh's example, then the government's 'Match-funding' money (allocated via Sustrans) would run out far far quicker than it already runs out each year, so the leading councils, which currently benefit, would start getting less money! Yes, it all boils back down to that.

    The more active support for 20mph is also worthwhile (again, to be based on the South Edinburgh 20mph pilot I think), albeit it would be much better to make 20mph the default for urban areas across Scotland, so that councils have to take a concious decision to all some urban roads to have higher limits.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  11. SRD
    Member

    "the annual summit of council transport convenors (councillors) and heads of transport (officers) hosted by the transport minister."

    Of course it's good idea. and it doesn't cost much. It's crumbs. designed to make us grateful.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  12. Instography
    Member

    I'm not sure I understand why we should be interested in fairness. And I doubt there's not a senior transport official in the country who doesn't have the sense to come along to the summit with some piss poor example of what great strides they've made. I mean if KB can get away with the case studies and "achievements" in the CAPS then it's not like they have much to live up to.

    I think the Fifers should take a wee trip to Kirkcaldy and see what miracles have been worked there.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  13. Arellcat
    Member

    it would be much better to make 20mph the default for urban areas across Scotland

    At the cost of replacing a bunch of signs and some fiddling with words. The effect of turning all of our 30mph zones into 20mph zones will not, as the chipwrapper enthusiasts will no doubt shout, be an automatic 50% increase in journey time.

    "How many Microsoft* programmers does it take to change a light bulb?
    None. Bill Gates just declares darkness to be the new standard."

    * Beginning to show its age, this one.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  14. DdF
    Member

    "the annual summit of council transport convenors (councillors) and heads of transport (officers) hosted by the transport minister.
    Of course it's good idea. and it doesn't cost much. It's crumbs. designed to make us grateful."

    I really don't think it is aimed at 'us.' That is rather overstating our significance I suspect.

    IMO the government is trying to make councils put more of their own money into cycling without the government itself having to put in more. The first part of that sentence is a worthwhile aim, although rather hypocritical given the second part, and given that the 2020 target is a government target (albeit that COSLA did sign up to CAPS).

    Notwithstanding the above, I do think the summit will give a push to some councils. It also gives people an opportunity to highlight their own council's efforts and/or lack of them, so is a new lobbying pressure point. One might well be able to turn it to our advantage if 'we' (i.e. local lobbyists) could encourage councillors to use the summit to tell the Minister that not much will happen without sensible government funding. It's a definite opportunity.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  15. sallyhinch
    Member

    Agree from a local perspective that it's a good opportunity - definitely something we'll be getting in touch with D&G council about. It also seems to be one of the few things that the government has picked up from the feedback to CAPS. But we shouldn't have to beat the government with a stick in order to get it to properly fund its OWN TARGETsorryvision

    Posted 10 months ago #
  16. chdot
    Admin

    "One might well be able to turn it to our advantage if 'we' (i.e. local lobbyists) could encourage councillors to use the summit to tell the Minister that not much will happen without sensible government funding. It's a definite opportunity."

    Good idea - though I think most councils would have to agree to make it effective.

    "albeit that COSLA did sign up to CAPS"

    Didn't realise that. Might explain a lot - and perhaps make the first part more possible.

    Though even if all councils ask for more money, doesn't mean they'll get any.,.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  17. chdot
    Admin

    "sorryvision"

    Just about sums it up!

    Posted 10 months ago #
  18. chdot
    Admin

  19. chdot
    Admin

    "
    Cycling Edinburgh (@CyclingEdin)
    19/06/2013 19:49
    “@SciennesPS: Sciennes Cyclists Meet Transport Minister http://sciennesnewsflash.blogspot.com/2013/06/sciennes-cyclists-with-transport.html

    @KeithBrownMSP @CyclingScotland @CllrJimOrr @John_Lauder

    "

    Posted 10 months ago #
  20. PS
    Member

    Re 20 zones: these seemed to be particularly effective in Bavaria, but they tended to be combined with a naked street approach - no road markings at all make drivers pay attention and make eye context with others to negotiate rights of way.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  21. SRD
    Member

    From Magnatom

    http://www.magnatom.net/2013/06/utter-utter-caps.html

    Posted 10 months ago #
  22. Morningsider
    Member

    Having had another chance to look this over, it now strikes me as a very unusual document in places - particularly in relation to the 10% vision and funding. What kind of "action plan" dedicates fairly large sections to explaining why things cannot happen, i.e. inaction - e.g it states:

    "the cycling vision is a challenging aspiration that requires clear and committed shared ownership by all its stakeholders, with delivery and resourcing going far beyond that of the Scottish Government alone. Thus a Scottish Government target would be inappropriate and underplay the essential role of the wider delivery landscape."

    However, the Scottish Government seems to have no problem setting renewable energy targets (just an example picked at random) and then amending spending plans and a host of policy documents to ensure that these targets can be met - including policies that directly influence the work of local authorities.

    Still, it's not like the Government launched the revised CAPS just before the parliament's summer recess so it won't be subject to any scrutiny. What? Oh...

    Posted 10 months ago #
  23. Arellcat
    Member

    "the cycling vision is a challenging aspiration that…" etc.

    Blimey. What does that actually mean? "It's not our job, and it's too tricky anyway."?

    Posted 10 months ago #
  24. Instography
    Member

    So, we've scoured the Government's Cycling Action Plan for Scotland and the best we can identify is an annual summit and we're calling that a step forward because it might be a lobbying pressure point?

    Posted 10 months ago #
  25. sallyhinch
    Member

    "[T]the cycling vision is a challenging aspiration that requires clear and committed shared ownership by all its stakeholders going far beyond that of the Scottish Government alone. Thus a Scottish Government target would be inappropriate and underplay the essential role of the wider delivery landscape"

    Yeah, I can't make this make sense either. I keep thinking I understand it and then the meaning slips out of my grasp... and I edit policy documents for a living (I'd never have allowed a sentence like that pass if I was editing it, that's for sure)

    Posted 10 months ago #
  26. chdot
    Admin

    "

    Bristol has doubled the number of cyclists in recent years and is committed to doubling this number again by 2020 (based on 2010 baseline figures

    "

    http://www.bristolgreencapital.org/european-green-capital-award

    Posted 10 months ago #
  27. Morningsider
    Member

    Arellcat, sallyhinch - You are looking at that quote, and indeed the whole section on funding, from the wrong angle. It isn't meant to be understood. It's whole purpose is to make sure that no-one cops the blame for failing to provide funds or meet the 10% target. I would say it does that admirably.

    I'd also say that while the cycling summit is hard to criticise in the abstract, we all know that it won't really achieve anything. Do you think KB (ex-council leader) is going to be slapping down anyone for not investing in cycling? I can imagine the hideous powerpoint presentations, showing terrible on-road infrastructure followed by a hearty lunch and copious back slapping. I can even imagine Edinburgh getting a ribbing for letting the side down by showing everyone else up.

    Posted 10 months ago #
  28. CalumCookable
    Member

    Sorry, but the notion that Edinburgh is "committed" to cycling is not credible, unless you consider the banning of cycling eastbound on Princes Street and the Walthamisation of Leith Walk to represent commitment. It doesn't matter how much money you spend if you don't have a clue what to spend it on (and waste it as a result).

    Posted 10 months ago #
  29. Min
    Member

    Arellcat, sallyhinch - You are looking at that quote, and indeed the whole section on funding, from the wrong angle. It isn't meant to be understood.

    It is very "Humphrey"!

    Posted 10 months ago #
  30. Instography
    Member

    Much as I've been admiring Morningsider's posts I actually think a summit can be criticised in the abstract precisely because we know what the function of summits is. They exist only to produce bland communiques that reiterate some future good intention while resisting any immediate action that will take anyone a single step closer to that glorious future. They are there only to foster the illusion of progress as way of avoiding any real progress.

    I find it sad, though hardly surprising given they rely on SG for funding, that Sustrans and Cycling Scotland are in the press release with glowing tributes. I really think organisations like Spokes and PoP should be denouncing this in the strongest possible terms instead of looking for chinks of lobbying potential.

    Posted 10 months ago #

RSS feed for this topic

Reply »

You must log in to post.


Video embedded using Easy Video Embed plugin