[Library shot of previous action day]
I wrote recently about another action day held – as part of Kidical Mass Bath’s campaign for safer streets for everyone – which took place through Weston and ended in Royal Victoria Park. You can view that by entering ‘Pedal Power’ into the search box below.
The organisation said they were disappointed to see the cycle ride removed from the Climate and Biodiversity Festival that B&NES Council is holding from 24 September until 2 October 2022.
Their press release stated: “This festival is advertised as a “collaborative programme of events that showcase, inspire and connect organisations, residents and communities across Bath and North East Somerset” and includes other similarly vocal community groups such as the Climate Hub.
The Kidical Mass Bath cycle ride was initially included in the festival programme, but it was removed – say organisers – because “it is considered a political event” an, ironically, political decision to exclude and silence hundreds of ordinary families because they demanded the council itself stop playing politics and start keeping their promises of safe, healthy, streets for all residents.”
I wanted to take up these points with B&NES and can now publish the reply l have received:
“Bath and North East Somerset Council’s vision for cycling, along with other forms of sustainable transport, is ambitious and wide-ranging and set out in our strategy document Journey to Net Zero.
Given the constraints on local government, which cannot promote events of a political nature, we regret that the council was unable to promote the Kidical Mass event as part of our forthcoming Climate and Nature festival.
The Kidical Mass events are registered with the Police as a protest, as opposed to being registered with the Council as an event (requiring a licence, road closure application, and insurance). Other events being promoted as part of the festival that are taking place on council land are registered as events.
Council officers have had many conversations with the organisers about registering the Kidical Mass ride as an event, but to date, no agreement on this has been possible.
Cabinet Lead for Climate Emergency and Sustainable Transport Cllr Sarah Warren commented:
“We welcome discussions with all stakeholders on transport strategy, and I am pleased that the organiser of Kidical Mass is amongst those who have attended the council’s new Journey to Net Zero Stakeholder Forum – at which the views of campaigners on all aspects of transport are heard and discussed.
“I remain open to dialogue as I am with other members of the community interested in transport. Sadly, the organisers of Kidical Mass have been unwilling to speak with me other than through the press, or at formal public meetings, to date. I have always found discussion a useful way of learning about the views and opinions of others, and of finding ways of working together towards shared goals.
“This year’s Climate and Nature festival includes a ‘Bike to the Park’ event taking place at 10am on Sunday 25th September at The Orchard, Broadmoor Lane, Weston. We would very much welcome the inclusion of further celebrations of cycling in our Climate and Biodiversity Festival in future years.”