Supporters of TACC presented their petition to Councillor John Woodman, Cabinet Member for Highways at Somerset County Council on 10 January. The petition (both paper and online) is signed by 1800 local residents. The petition asks Somerset County Council (SCC) and Somerset West and Taunton Council (SWT) to prioritise and develop a major bid for Government funds for cycling infrastructure.
Pip Sheard, Chair of TACC said: “Our work shows that many people would like to cycle but safe infrastructure is needed to enable them to. More cycling will create large environmental, health and social benefits.
In their Climate Emergency Framework documents, both local Councils identify more cycling as a way to reduce local CO2 emissions from transport calculated at 50% of all Somerset West and Taunton’s emissions. Swopping the car for a bike on a local journey reduces your carbon emissions to zero.
Over the summer, TACC supporters spent a considerable amount of time working with Somerset County Council officers and cycling the town looking at current cycling routes and how they could be improved. Some of this work has been sent to the Government in a document called the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) but now the proposed improvements need funding.”
TACC asks SCC to:
1. Lobby the Government working with our MP to ask them to set up a national dedicated cycling fund as part of the Government’s developing Infrastructure Plan.
2. Ask the Government that this national cycling fund be sufficient so towns like Taunton, Bridgwater and Yeovil all have a serious chance of getting funds.
3. To support the bid for a Somerset County Council budget for cycling at the Council’s February budget meeting.
4. To write to his officers to ask them to adopt the new proposed Department for Transport Cycle Design Advice and Chapter Six of Traffic Signs Manual, which reflects some of the guidance.
There are many people out there who would like to cycle but don’t feel confident to use the road and in their own skills. To help with this, free one to one cycling confidence sessions are available until 27 July 2019. The sessions typical take an hour and are provided by a qualified cycle instructor. They are tailored to the needs of the person taking part.
In Bristol, thousands of people have done these sessions and many now cycle to work, to shops or for other purposes. One person taking part said “I am now fully committed to cycling to work and I have enjoyed every minute so far. Thank you all!”.
Local instructor Nick Warner said “Taunton is a compact town and for many the town centre and work are only a couple of miles away, a perfect cycling distance. The cycling sessions build confidence and road awareness to make local journeys by bike”.
If you would like to take advantage of this, fill out our contact form and we will be able to arrange a time to suit. We advise you to book by 10 July 2019.
The project is being funded by ‘Big Bike Revival’, which is all about overcoming those little barriers and to help people feel more confident about cycling. Information at www.cyclinguk.org/bigbikerevival. This local project is being organised by Taunton Area Cycling Campaign.
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Great Western Railway have installed 22 new cycle spaces at Taunton station in January 2019. This is in respons to our call for additional ‘interim’ spaces in August 2018.
Hundreds of people arrive at Taunton railway station every weekday and many who commute to work often find that all bike racks are taken.
In total 150 new cycle spaces are proposed but the rest are part of the major scheme for the station, and the current interim provision might be moved as part of this.
On 29 September we launched the ‘Turn the Network Blue’ campaign – calling on the local authorities to support a bid for £10m so that the cycling network can be transformed in the Taunton area. This is just what our Garden Town needs.
The response to our call to wear something blue was fantastic. Thank you to everyone who came along. It was a strong demonstration of support for better cycling in the Taunton area. We made statements at Taunton Deane BC and Somerset CC on 2 October.
Thanks to people who have contacted us since the event. We really welcome people to become involved in our campaigns.
More photos here >