Updated: Cycling England cash? Spend it on potholes say cabbies

"Money is wasted on cyclists" claim

by Mark Appleton   December 17, 2010  

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Taxi drivers in Blackpool want Cycling England cash to be spent on repairing potholes, not improving cycling infrastructure, the Blackpool Gazette reports.

Blackpool was made a Cycling Town in 2008 and awarded £3m by Cycling England for a range of initiatives including the creation of four cycling lanes that would provide access inland from the famous Promenade to the rest of the town and the neighbouring countryside.

But a representative of local cabbies says the money would be better spent on improving road surfaces rather than building what he claims are little-used cycle facilities.

Bill Lewtas, secretary of the Blackpool Licensed Taxi Operators Association, told the Gazette: "Just because Cycling England is prepared to fund these so-called improvements doesn't make it right.

"Has anyone from the council seen the appalling road surfaces in Whinney Heys Road and Whinpark Avenue by Victoria Hospital? Don't ambulances need good roads for the health of patients?

"Money is being wasted putting cycle routes in places where I rarely see a bicycle.

"And the cycle route on the pavement right next to the taxi rank in Bank Hey Street is an accident waiting to happen. Can anyone please tell me why there is a dedicated cycle route going east and west on Chapel Street in addition to another cycle route on the other side of the road? I rarely see a cyclist there."

Cycle Blackpool is the body set up by Blackpool Council and charged with delivering the projects which Cycling England’s cash is paying for. 

Carol Bracegirdle, Travel and Road Safety Manager for Blackpool Council said:  "The money provided by Cycle England to Blackpool Council is to encourage and promote cycling in the town of Blackpool to a broad audience that includes both residents and tourists to the town. The funding was specifically given for cycling projects and cannot be used for road maintenance.

"The routes that are currently being constructed are being created to encourage novice cyclists to get on their bikes which will include visitors to our town who are welcome to come along and try out the Blackpool Hire Bike scheme, not only enjoying the sites of the Blackpool Promenade but coming inland to enjoy areas off the beaten track including Blackpool Stanley Park and the Zoo.

"Some areas of the town have high levels of deprivation and poor health and by promoting cycling it is hoped that residents will gain considerable benefit from this activity."
 

7 user comments

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Do you think if someone told him that potholes are far more dangerous for bikes than cabs, he would change his mind?

posted by wild man [279 posts]
17th December 2010 - 17:59

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I would have thought that mending the potholes was better all round. Certainly better than more segregation of cyclists!

posted by nickwill [14 posts]
17th December 2010 - 18:21

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yeah, that was my thought from the headline - less money for green paint, more money for pothole repair? yes please Wink

posted by eddie11 [78 posts]
17th December 2010 - 19:06

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Awww, poor hard up cabbies worried people will cycle to their destination instead of paying their charges.
I can't blame them for wanting to protect their livelihoods though, I'd welcome a job that allowed me to sit and extort money from the public all day.

posted by automatic_jon [68 posts]
18th December 2010 - 8:34

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Ask an idiot a simple question and you will surely get an idiotic answer.

In fact, with taxi drivers you don't even have to ask a question, they're just bursting with Daily Mail-alike comments for the world to hear.

If Mr Taxi is so bothered about 'good roads for ambulances' why doesn't he stop wearing them out? Or perhaps volunteer to help maintain them? I've never heard that ridiculous argument before so he gets points for ingenuity if nothing else.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [1945 posts]
18th December 2010 - 13:00

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It seems that the taxi drivers are not the only idiots around here - antisegregationists must be added to that.

OK, so you are only interested in what you can get out of it for yourselves? Does it not occur to you that the vast majority of people are NEVER going to be interested in barrelling along at 20+ in their lycra and high vis, playing chicken with the motor traffic?

The lady from the council has got it right - the money is hypothecated to cycling works and cannot be used for roads, whether the vehicular mob wants that or not.

posted by Paul M [308 posts]
18th December 2010 - 14:24

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A good charitable cause would be the carpet bombing of large swathes of Blackpool Devil

Make mine an Italian with Campagnolo on the side

posted by monty dog [360 posts]
18th December 2010 - 23:05

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