Chairman's Review of 2015

2015 The Year of the Mudguard………

As Chairman I did a “blog” for 2014 about our first year of cycle campaigning to much critical acclaim. So risking “second album”syndrome here goes…….

Defiance ride Committee started a “to do” list and the Easter Monday ride was taking shape. After avoiding conflict directly with the County Council we had a few minor victories and infrastructure removed – but it couldn’t last, could it!? In the name of Sustainable communities the County Council blew almost £800.000 in the Llwnhendy and Trostre areas of Llanelli and nothing in the way of safer, easier cycling. Got good support from the media and an embarrassed silence from the County Council……Easter Monday’s commemorative ride from Glanamman to Swansea saw lots of Forum members as part of a 200+ peloton/straggly group. Wonderful day’s weather and in true cyclists style the lunch buffet was emptied in under 20 minutes. The locusts then had the option of a straight run back or alternatively over the Velindre “slopes” where quite a few regretted the extra sarnies supplied..

Time to get those mudguards fitted….Correspondence with Minister, Edwina Hart, continues. As membership of the Forum steadily grows towards 100 the County Council’s Tranport Strategy section call for a meeting. After our Press revelations weeks before it was agreed to regularly meet and to draw a line under past difficulties. A very constructive dialogue has begun and also the County revealed they had almost £1m to spend from Wesh Govt. Has our spat with Edwina meant more money for Carmarthenshire…..!!? Discussions over specific schemes, the draft cycling Strategy and the active Travel Act plans. Things are going to be busy so no room for humour this year!!

Edwina Hart’s letter ends with a “Glasgow Kiss”. In all honesty I think both parties have had enough and we have won a concession on Cross Hands roundabout anyway! However, some members quite rightly dismayed at the non completion of Bancfelin to St Clears so we do a Press release and all the papers run it. BBC call us up and we then have the pleasure of filming for over an hour in pouring rain. Our Forum is also called into the Tywi Valley cycle route presentations. We are also invited to help Transition Tywi in their quest for a local link in Llandeilo and attend an evening’s Public Meeting. The Cycle Forum is getting about for sure!!

Whilst the rain never stops the stuff going on and around the Forum is increasing. Tywi Valley cycle way, Trunk Roads, Llangennech to Llanelli , Ammanford to Llandybie to name a few!! Our Facebook group are pretty vibrant and growing whilst we get good feedback and support from the e-mail group. With so much going on we aim to have a meeting in Carmarthen in January and one in Llanelli early February.
Hope to see you there……even those with stripes down their backs who obviously can’t afford mudguards!!!

Ride On,