York has appointed a a project manager to oversee how it spends the £3.68m allocated to it by the Government and Cycling England as part of their Cycling Towns programme.
Inevitably dubbed the “Cycling Tzar”, Graham Titchener will have responsibility for cycle training in schools and workplaces and the council's fight against bike theft – four bikes a day were reported stolen in York in 2006/7 – in some ways a tribute to the city's acknowledged success in promoting cycling as a form of transport.
A much higher level of York's population already cycle than in most other UK towns and cities – something that has been achieved by a decade long series of initiatives. However, according to Cycling England recent surveys show that cycle usage had plateaued – hence the funding.
Tzar or project manager, York's new cycling boss will have a lot of work on his hands as well as the cycle training and anti theft initiatives, York's successful bid for the Cycling England cash was also based on completing a programme of cycle route building, closing gaps in the existing network, and creating new routes including an orbital one. Local residents have also been asked what they would like to see done to boost cycling in York and over 9,000 responded.
York has until 2011 to spend the money allocated to it.
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.