Last night I took part in Access 101; an evening of access discussions and presentations organised by PMBA who are interested in getting more involved in access campaigning and rights of way. I was one of three presentations, lined up in between David Goldie (Lancashire County Council Rights of Way officer) and Colin Palmer of the CTC
I finished my bit with a slide highlighting the three priorities as I see it:
- National representation campaigning at government level
- Local representation – Ride Sheffield and PMBA are a good examples of this.
- A developing code of ethics on where and when to ride coming from the grassroots.
One of the interesting directions the night went was in a discussion of who we have to represent us at national level; IMBA, CTC or British Cycling? I’m a firm believer in CTC being the most suitable for this role given their history of campaigning and perceived respectability in parliamentary circles. So it came as a bit of a shock to learn that the main body currently campaigning on mtb access issues dedicates only one staff day a week to it.
The question for mountainbikers is “Why join CTC?”, which seems reasonable when they outwardly appear to be focussed mainly on road and touring cyclists. But if we don’t tell them what we want, if they don’t realise the demand out there for better access they’re unlikely to put much effort into what is needed.
So if you are already a member why not take a moment to email them and let them know that you’d like them to put more resources into campaigning for Scottish style access in England and Wales.
If you’re not already a member why not take a moment to email them and let them know that you’re likely to join if they put more resources into campaigning for Scottish style access in England and Wales.