Sustrans

 
Representations made, or encouraged, by the tiny
engineering charity Sustrans should be disregarded. Sustrans
has apparently less than ten actual members, and their
constitution does not allow them to undertake to represent
bicycle users, or pedestrians, horseriders, the disabled, or
anyone at all. Additionally, as Sustrans have delegated the
management and millennium funding of the National Cycle
Network in Cornwall to Cornwall County Council under the project title Cornish Way (and probably also to WSCC for Sussex projects), it is particularly inappropriate and incorrect for Sustrans to attempt to interfere in local affairs here.

Sustrans have promised the Millennium Commissison that they
will, by midsummer’s day 2000, produce thousands of miles of
routes “suitable for an unsupervised twelve year old”, half of
which will be “traffic free”. Although pedestrians, horses,
wheelchairs and cycles are of course traffic, Sustrans mean
this latter designation to refer to routes being free of motor
vehicles. It is manifestly impossible for Sustrans to meet
the declared goals, so to avoid earned embarrassment to
themselves and the Millenium Commission, enormous and
irresponsible pressure is created for hasty implementation of
token “traffic free” sections to avoid falling so far short of
the grand PR promise.

This means unsafe and unwanted “traffic-free” sections are
implemented against the wishes, advice and objections of user
groups, and others, simply to fill the Sustrans scoresheet and
produce x miles of “result”. To build up the pressure for
this unwanted implementation, Sustrans conduct misleading
publicity campaigns at public expense, prominently featurlng
forms of provision, which are poor practice, and last resorts,
particularly shared use. These campaigns have a really
insidious role in misdirecting public funds and frightening
people off the roads. They also incorrectly imply that
Sustrans is a campaign/membership organisation or user group,
rather than a publicity driven quango with a questionable
safety record, and an approach to transport matters which is
ideological, evangelical, and unresponsive to valid public
concern.

 

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