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An Embassy, free from the burden of history, legacy and ties, created to work in partnership with fellow organisations and charities in Great Britain, mainland Europe and around the World trading ideas and experiences in how to promote cycling and make cycling infrastructure work in urban and rural contexts.
To develop relations with private companies already committed to Green & Sustainable values and promote the truth that cycling can produce a fitter, healthier, happier workforce saving billions in ‘sick’ days to the British economy.
To lobby relevant Government Departments that cycling is a solution to transport congestion, noise pollution, carbon emissions, deaths and serious injuries on our roads, obesity and illnesses from more sedentary lifestyles, stress and expense.
To politely correct the Department for Transport that ‘Sustainable Transport’ actually means walking, cycling and public transport as opposed to spending further millions on expanding the road network which will only sustain more pollution, deaths & serious injuries and congestion, like the decades that preceded. The idea is to make something sustainable for future generations to inherit. A bigger M25 isn’t it.
To redefine what Road Safety in the UK means by working with relevant groups; to highlight what the real dangers are, to enforce a duty of care to the most vulnerable and promoting prevention, rather than cure. This will be through a raft of measures including reduced speed limits in urban areas and changes in streetscape design to put community needs before those just travelling through them. We will strive to create an environment where helmets and other forms of protective wear are seen as unecessary as opposed to essential. We will strive to make riding a bicycle as easy as riding a bicycle.
To work with local authorities and relevant parties to redefine Cycling Infrastructure Design Standards in the UK and bring them in line with best practice in partner countries. ‘Hierarchy of Provision’, although well-meaning and correct in principle is too open to abuse or compromise by practitioners that know little about the requirements of cycling (or indeed walking) yet may wish to know more.
To encourage better communication with exchange of knowledge and ideas between architects, transport planners, designers & engineers as to how to get more people cycling [and walking] and improving access for all to town & city centres and transport interchanges. Also working out what makes decent cycle infrastructure work and how it benefits society as a whole.
To protect cycling proficiency for children and adults. It is an essential skill that did us very well in the past, as it can again in the future.
To have fun. It’s why we started cycling in the first place.
Ok so far over the last week 4 of the posts I’ve had queued up to post have not only failed to post but been deleted (and I promise you they weren’t THAT exciting) so I apologise if posting becomes a little erratic as I’m having to do it all manually. Hopefully tumblr will get it sorted out soon!
The more observant of you may have noticed a lack of snow in the posts over the last few days. That’s not because it has gone away, far from it but I’ve been escaping the terrible British winter weather in Oslo for the the past few days and in order to keep you supplied with pictures of Sheffield’s finest battling the elements, posted some pictures I took earlier in the month.
Hopefully, I will get chance to post you some Norwegian cycle chic from Oslo in the next few days.
Above is the view from my window last Wednesday morning and my car is in there somewhere! It doesn’t look much different today.