Mayor’s Cycling Breakfast 6.7.23

On Thursday 6th July, 20 leaders from 13 business and education institutions attended the third Mayor’s Cycle Breakfast & Awards of the year, which was hosted by The Open University (photo story of last one on 16th March). The meeting was organised by Cycling CitizensMK, a project funded by grants from MK City Council’s Economic Recovery Fund and Capability Fund, using monies from Active Travel England and the Department for Transport.

Following a welcome from event Chair Deborah Cooper, of MK Cycle Forum, Professor Nick Braithwaite, VCE Sponsor for Sustainability and Executive Dean at The OU gave an opening address: “We aim to be carbon neutral by 2030.  I see it as my job, stimulated by this morning, to increase the number of people cycling to The Open University. You can rely on us doing our bit as a relatively large employer in the region.”

Then Adam Sciberras, Special Projects Director of MK Development Partnership, shared some of the ideas driving MK planning for 2050. “For too long the city has been steered by a small group of people who have lived here a long while. We’re trying to listen to those people who are moving here and will be here in the future. We’re trying to introduce cycling as a more sustainable way of getting around the city.”

Cllr Jenny Wilson-Marklew, Cabinet Member for Climate Action & Sustainability, said: “As a city we need to not just take our cycling infrastructure for granted and think, well obviously we’re going to be an active travel city, and think more about what that network needs to look like so people can use it efficiently.

“The way I am trying to work in my role and to promote active travel and public transport is to bring it into the round, so it’s about making the conversation not just about cycling, but about the health benefits of active travel, and frame it around poverty.”

Murray Woodburn, the Council’s new Head of Traffic & Transport, will say: “There are some things we can do which are quick wins.  Lighting, surfacing, priorities and removing obstructions, are relatively cheap and can be done relatively quickly.”

Then the Top Cycling Company awards were presented by MK Mayor Mick Legg and Mayoress Mandy Legg based on bike counts and the number of cycling promotion initiatives undertaken (full results here). The winners were: The Open University, Network Rail, Niftylift, MK Council and Volkswagen Financial Services. Walton High won the Top Cycling School award.

The OU’s Neville the Newt also visited.

The meeting also enjoyed presentations from Dave Lewis of The Parks Trust, Chris Brittain of Walton High and Clive Faine of Abbeygate and MK Cycle Forum, and finally heard from Ian Revell, CEO of MK Community Foundation, about the upcoming CMK Carnival Cycle Ride on Thursday 13th July.

3 thoughts on “Mayor’s Cycling Breakfast 6.7.23”

  1. MK scores in the bottom 3 cycling towns in England/U.K. becoming carbon neutral by 2030 is a fantasy unless there is a major push on infrastructure. It took Copenhagen nearly 50 years to have more than 50% of commuting not by car and a lot by bike. They went for biking just at time MK was loving the car. This has to stop.
    I emailed Cllr Jenny Wilson-Marklew, Cabinet Member for Climate Action & Sustainability asking what is sustainability- several years ago but did not get a reply. Since the time of that email cycling usage has not gone up in MK. The surfaces, signage, cornering on Redways is very poor. Directional they are less than helpful for shortening journey times by not going across grids. On a bike starting is the hardest thing, but redways are subservient to the roads at crossing points. The priorities (and car driver attitude) has to change. At crossings the Redways should stay on the level and not dip down to the road. The road signage should be reversed so cars give way. The cars would certainly slow with need to raise up the 10-15cms to what becomes an effective speed bump.
    All new buildings should have covered bike parking with compulsory showers and lockers in all new office developments. Eg the Santander new building with hundred of underground car parking spaces but not hundreds of bike parking spaces. In one of MK magazine there is mention of the Vauban district of Freiburg- the bike/walking is king. There are a lot of other places where bike use has got up speedily and dramatically. From Medellin in Colombia to Sevilla in Spain. A low cost hello is to reduce all off grid roads to 20 mph ( Also for greenhouse gas and particulate emissions reduce grid road speed to 50mph.
    The are lots of publications out there: I will provide a list if anyone actually replies to this message.
    For the city to have workable public transport a subsidy of course helps but frequency is needed. Can we get the bike on the bus? You can in Independence- a city in the car dominated USA., but not in MK. Develop more park and ride/ park and bike. – the could use some of the fantasised guide tramways.
    Design of the future city needs bike and walk infrastructure first dwellings/social space and buildings/shops stand cafes next and car last
    Another point among many is have bike ways separated from pedestrian ways – avoiding one another helps both parties and lessens the extended dog lead trap.
    Mor needs to be done m. The MK Carnival bike ride was almost embarrassing with talk of encouraging more people to cycle with no mention of infrastructure and bike storage changes from the council.
    The council needs to get a grip on a plan not be subservient to housing developers. Also don’t get me mentions the loads of new warehousing with no solar panels and water harvesting ( it makes sustainability claims a a joke- what never the council thinks this is).

    1. Hi Christopher, this is powerful and helpful. I’d like to meet if you can find the time, get thoughts on how we can ramp up our strategy for getting infrastructure wins in a city where so many residents currently enjoy the power of their car driving. Please contact me on 07962 838685 or I’d really like to get more of your thoughts into alliance planning.

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