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Councils need to take ‘unpopular’ decisions to convert drivers into cyclists says councillor in Cumbria

‘I am glad to see us doing things that maybe aren't that popular with car-driving, middle-aged people’...

Local councils will need to make 'unpopular' political decisions to convert car drivers into cyclists, according to a councillor in Cumbria.

The Westmorland Gazette reports that there have been complaints of motor traffic holdups after work began on a cycle path on Shap Road, Kendal, and also following similar work on nearby Burton Road.

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The comments underneath the Westmorland Gazette article provide further evidence that such decisions are far from universally popular. One person makes the forlorn observation that “we will never uninvent the car.”

However, councillor Phil Dixon, a former cabinet member for health and wellbeing, commended the council for persevering with the work. He said that the adoption of a similarly firm attitude in the Netherlands in the 1970s reaped dividends in later years.

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“I recognise that I don't think this is a particularly popular path that we are going down in encouraging cycling, but a council like ours needs to take these difficult political decisions for the long term benefit,” he said.

“I am glad to see us doing things that maybe aren't that popular with car-driving, middle-aged Kendal people – but we have all got to learn to change together."

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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Batchy | 4 years ago

The so called cycle infrastructure in and around Kendal is badly designed and ill conceived. Huge amounts of money were  spent on Burton Road simply to allow pedestrians  to share pavements with cyclists and now Shap Road ( A6) is destined for the the same outcome.

The local authorities have really missed the point here. They could have created proper segregated through routes for cyclists with a bit more thought. The cycling "system" in town is a real mishmash  and does nothing to encourage  cycling . They are just pretending to cater for cyclists  but are clueless . I know because I live here and the car is king.


crazy-legs | 4 years ago
1 like

I really like Kendal. Lovely little town although the high street is beginning to go the way of some other places with a few empty units.

It's effectively got two bypasses, the M6 going N/S and the A591 between the motorway and Ambleside/Windermere. Problem with places like that though, they'll never build a Park n Ride because it's all National Park land surrounding it so they just let the traffic do what it wants.

Rik Mayals unde... | 4 years ago

Kendal is a fucked up town. The one way system winds its way through and is always congested. They are bleating for a by-pass, but there is a simple way to by-pass it. Simply get on the M6, J36 is less than ten minutes from south Kendal, and get off at J37, less than ten minutes up the road. Most people living in Kendal are either hippies or coffin dodgers. In fact the worse thing to happen to the Lakes was the World Heritage status. Any time you go, the roads are gridlocked, with loads of tourist buses and coaches on tiny roads, mini coaches on mountain passes for fucks sake. 

And it will only get worse, as more and more Americans and Japanese rock up. 

Accessibility f... | 4 years ago

Commenters on newspaper websites are like rats in sewers.  Everyone knows they're there, they feed on rubbish stories and will never be exterminated.

The best we can do is keep them out of sight, out of mind.  Meanwhile, the rest of us with a life can appreciate the short journeys of 1-2 miles that good cycling infrastructure can enable.  You know, the kinds of journeys that the elderley and disabled can manage very easily by bike.

Aberdeencyclist | 4 years ago
1 like

Councillor looses middle aged Lake District vote at a stroke of the pen !  Would be interesting to know how many complaints were received and just how he worked out the ages of complainers. And of course how does that compare with other road works . And given that motorists often complain about "mamils" - middle aged men in Lycra on bikes , is this comment not out of place and out of touch ? 

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