Manchester City Council is not being clear about what it is planning to do about pop-up cycle lanes. The other local authorities in Greater Manchester are installing these, meaning that people who don’t have cars and who don’t want to get on public transport can get to work safely. This is about poverty, disability and social justice. It could not be more stark.
There is one clear way that we, as members of the public, can get answers more quickly than the Freedom of Information Act (that takes 20 working days). It’s this:
We can write to members of Manchester City Council’s “Neighbourhoods and Environment Scrutiny Committee.” It has the power to call elected members and senior officers to come and explain actions. It meets NEXT WEDNESDAY, 24th June, at 2pm (online). See the agenda here.
So, please write to any councillors on the committee who you already know, or who represent a ward where you live, work or study. We have a suggested wording below, but please alter as you see fit. You could also write to your own ward councillors about this, even if they aren’t on the committee (you can find out who they are by entering your postcode here).
We have only included emails and Twitter. Some of these councillors have also included their phone numbers on this page-
|Email and Twitter
|Miles Platting and NewtonHeath
|Gorton and Abbey Hey
|Lee-Ann Igbon (CHAIR)
Proposed wording (please write your own if you prefer)
Dear Councillor x
I am writing to you in your capacity as a member of the Neighbourhoods and Environment Scrutiny Committee.
[I live/work/study in your ward.] Delete if not applicable
You will no doubt know about the controversy over pop-up cycle lanes. Other local authorities in Greater Manchester are proceeding apace with cycle lanes which will make it easier and safer for people to cycle for their journeys.
Cycling is a social justice issue – a third of the city’s households do not have cars and people will be forced back onto public transport if there is not better provision. This will severely compromise the physical distancing that is still needed to reduce the risks of Covid-19 transmission. While I appreciate there are longer term plans to improve infrastructure for walking and cycling, the failure to act quickly and decisively on this urgent matter is a serious health and equalities issue.
There is a real lack of information about what is actually being done by Manchester City Council. There is so far only a vague statement – “where neighbouring local authorities are planning to create temporary pop-up cycle lanes which approach Manchester, we will work with partners in each case, to ensure that safety for all road users is prioritised.”
There is no mention of temporary cycle lanes in the report to be discussed at the Neighbourhoods and Environment Scrutiny Committee meeting to take place online next Wednesday, 24th June at 2pm. Therefore, I am writing to you because I would very much like you to approach the chair of the committee, Councillor Igbon, about adding an item of urgent business to the agenda. I think that the members of the scrutiny committee need to hear from – and be able to ask questions to – a relevant member or set of members of the Council, be that an Executive Member, a senior officer or some combination.
Please could you let me know if you agree that the provision of pop-up cycle lanes is an urgent social justice issue, and whether you are going to approach the chair of the committee.
And here is a great graphic, put together on insanely short notice, by Solvi…