Cycling England was given its death warrant in last October’s ‘bonfire of the quangos’. Today is the organisation’s final day.
Cycling England was established in 2005 as an independent body to get "more people cycling, more safely, more often." It steered through the Bikeability training scheme for children (300,000 are trained each year), and created the Cycling Demonstration Towns to show that English conurbations would take to cycling if the right pro-bicycle measures were put in place.
Bikeability will continue to be run thanks to funding from the Department for Transport.
The Coalition Government scrapped an organisation with just three full-time staff. The cost saving? £385,000 per year, or about the cost of building five metres of motorway. (Not miles, metres).
Click on ‘Bear of Very Little Brain learns about Coal-ishuns & Quango-things’, a requiem to Cycling England, written in the style of Winnie the Poo by an anonymous industry leader.
There’s more comment on the end of Cycling England here.
The Cycling England website – once standalone, then hosted by the Department for Transport – is being ported to a new home, thanks to the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport. The Hub will be hosted by CILT "as a free service to interested professionals." This site will be updated with new info, said a statement from CILT. A copy of the Cycling England website is accessible from the national archives.
Cycling England also lives on as a YouTube channel, with 14 videos featuring best-practice examples from the Cycling Demonstration Towns.
Cycling England chair Phillip Darnton – who is also the vice president of the Bicycle Association – made some cutting comments on a farewell website posting, claiming cycling was used as a "party political football to be played with according to fashionable ideology or dogma."
He said: "The Government’s decision to abolish Cycling England – as being a “quango” is regrettable, and cost ineffective but it is not the demise of this little group of managers which is to be lamented it is the loss of the nationally extended network of enthusiasts, with their acquired knowledge, skills and engagement which is the real waste."
Darnton is praised to the hilt on a Posterous website. The website was created by Cycling England staff members. Read the comments here, hankies at the ready…
Staff members losing their jobs, or moving on, are:
Tricia Allen, who was in charged of the Cycling Towns program, has yet to hear whether she will be kept on by the Department of Transport.
Isobel Stoddart, who worked for Sustrans and Transport for London before Cycling England, has lost her job as of today.
Paul Robison, in charge of Bikeability, has a contract with the Department of Transport until August.
Steve Garidis loses his job today but plans to stay in the world of bicycles.