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.
Tony has been editing cycling magazines and websites since 1997 starting out as production editor and then deputy editor of Total Bike, acting editor of Total Mountain Bike and then seven years as editor of Cycling Plus. He launched his first cycling website - the Cycling Plus Forum at the turn of the century. In 2006 he left C+ to head up the launch team for Bike Radar which he edited until 2008, when he co-launched the multi-award winning road.cc - which he continues to edit today. His favourite ride is his ‘commute’ - which he does most days inc weekends and he’s been cycle-commuting since 1994. His favourite bikes are titanium and have disc brakes.