Started with Phil Goodwin, author of the detailed report that accompanied the All-Party Parliamentary Group short but glossy report. Cycle commuting levels now so high at peak that cycling is already making a significant contribution to the economy and the environment in London.
Andrew Gilligan, arrived late, but thinks on present trend central London will be car-free in foreseeable future. 2012 cycling numbers will show faltering in the growth we have seen for last decade. Suggested this was in part due to extensive campaigning about dangers of cycling. Possible own goal here if we keep banging on about safety to try to get money for cycling, whilst only succeeding in scaring people off what is a very safe activity.
Harry Rutter, public health expert, gave a nice talk illustrated by some of the least legible slides I have seen in a long time. Claimed sports initiatives only get people who are already active a bit more active. He did not point out that cycling promotion works the same way. Most of the growth in cycle journeys in London in last decade is same cyclists doing more/longer journeys, not increase in cyclist numbers. Emphasised the huge health and environmental benefits of cycling – but preaching to the largely converted.
Adrian Davis. Nice Lord Derby quote “Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness”. Noted that evidence that physical activity improves academic performance is overwhelming. Good example of the sort of non-health argument that is useful in promoting cycling. NB, more on this elsewhere on the web site soon.
Workshop was fun. Trying to figure out how to share the now very busy Regents Canal towpath. Best suggestion – concrete over that messy water and provide a really good cycle path!
Peter Wright from TfL talked about delivery of the Cycling Vision in a very non –visionary way. Seemed all about administrative structures, which I suppose are important. My suggestion, that to get the “Quietways” we needed to keep the Boroughs out of it and just get on with it, went down like the proverbial lead balloon, the room being full of Borough officers…
Spohie Taylor told us cyclists are not the best shoppers, spending less than average, but not a lot less.
Overall a fascinating day. And excellent catering plus free drinks afterwards.