CTC's benchmarking scheme, launched in February 2000 to assess how best to encourage
cycling in the UK, has completed its first full year and is well into its second.
With the help of CTC, the ten councils that signed up for year one have now drafted action plans to promote and develop cycling, using what they have learnt from the process. Those in the second year have now started their programme of visits. From the first year findings, CTC will shortly be issuing best practice guidance to all authorities.
The ten new authorities will be involved in the final year of the initiative. They will visit and host visits from other councils, attend workshops and carry out self-audits.
According to CTC, the councils already involved have been full of praise for the scheme and have seen a wide range of successful initiatives in operation. These include using cycling as a tool to reduce social exclusion in Glasgow, a theft reduction project in Cambridge, innovative roundabout designs in York and Devon's development of cycling policy for rural areas.
Sally Killips, cycling officer at Leicester City Council, said: "The Benchmarking project has given us a useful insight into how realistic, good quality cycle policies and infrastructure can be put into place."
Benchmarking enables organisations with a common interest to learn from colleagues
who have implemented policies or initiatives successfully. It features highly in this month's Velo-city conference in Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Tony Russell, CTC's Benchmarking Project Officer, said: "The authorities involved see this as a valuable contribution to the way in which they apply best value to their cycling policies. We are now keen to build on this as move into the third year."