Sustrans funding request

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Sustrans funding request

Postby admin » 2 Mar 2011, 9:31am

Just had an email from Sustrans, a large well-known charitable cycling organisation:

"I wouldn't contact you unless there was a dire need, as I know you are all very busy people. But Sustrans is entering its toughest times to date, and we need help. Cycling England will soon disappear, having, for many years, allocated funding for large elements of our work with children and communities. As you are well aware, funding cuts mean that public services across the UK are in a vulnerable position. For us, this means that match-funded projects near you are at risk – or have already been cancelled."

Then lots of good words about cycling as sustainable transport, which I fully agree with. Then:

"This is why we need your help more than ever. We’ve got great value ideas. We’ve got tried and tested answers to local problems like congestion. We’ve got route and bridge-building expertise. But without your donations, we simply won't have the funds."

"Please give £20 or whatever you can afford today, to help us withstand the cuts and press for positive local change."

Not sure whether this will affect the CTC Charitable Trust's work the same way, but it's a little worrying what the future of cycling charity funding looks like. It looks like funding for such charities will be coming much more from individual donors, and much less from public funds.

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Re: Sustrans funding request

Postby thirdcrank » 2 Mar 2011, 11:46am

I think the sensation I am experiencing is called schadenfreude and I suppose I ought to be ashamed to admit it. :oops:

But what the heck? There's not much to laugh about these days. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: Sustrans funding request

Postby Guy951 » 2 Mar 2011, 11:49am

thirdcrank wrote:I think the sensation I am experiencing is called schadenfreude and I suppose I ought to be ashamed to admit it. :oops:

But what the heck? There's not much to laugh about these days. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

+1
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Re: Sustrans funding request

Postby horizon » 2 Mar 2011, 12:19pm

I had a similar email from the Highways Agency. They are now completely dependent on donations and a few charitable grants to complete the road building programme. We used to be members of the Highways Agency but now cannot afford it - it is a crying shame to see precious infrastructure wasting away for the sake of a government grant. Basically if we want major road improvements we are going to have to go down the volunteering/big society route and get out there with shovels.
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Re: Sustrans funding request

Postby Si » 2 Mar 2011, 12:31pm

To my eye it's another of those things that can be used by both sides of the debate.


Anti-charity: the grant money is getting scarce so becoming a charity isn't as good idea as it might have been - better to divert resources to local, grass roots campaigning (Big Society as mentioned by Horizon, and by my MG sec yesterday).

Charity: the grant money is getting scarce so we have to do every last thing that we can that might help us to get more. Becoming a full-on charity might be the small factor that wins us the ever harder to get grant/match funding.


Swings and roundabouts, swings and roundabouts.

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Re: Sustrans funding request

Postby robgul » 2 Mar 2011, 2:17pm

I think that the words " ... got route and bridge-building expertise ... " are a bit of a giveaway and reality check in terms of assessing value for money/bang for the buck - and whether (private) donors would chip in any dosh.

In today's financial climate the obvious and achievable way forward for cycling provision is to use the existing road infrastructure rather than creating building work - giving people guidance on routes that work for utility and leisure journeys.

Rob

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Re: Sustrans funding request

Postby irc » 3 Mar 2011, 11:25pm

admin wrote:but it's a little worrying what the future of cycling charity funding looks like. It looks like funding for such charities will be coming much more from individual donors, and much less from public funds.


But where do public funds come from? Individual donors (taxpayers).

In my opinion a charity which relies primarily on the taxpayer for funding is not a charity, it's an arm of government.

http://fakecharities.org/

As for Sustrans?

http://onthelevelblog.com/2009/01/26/th ... rporation/
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Re: Sustrans funding request

Postby thirdcrank » 4 Mar 2011, 7:48am

By coincidence, I've just retaxed my car and it was only £20 for 12 mos. (I'd suggest that Sustrans might start issuing "Off-road Fund Licences - if I didn't think everybody would immediately point out that there is no such thing as a Road Fund Licence. :mrgreen: )

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Re: Sustrans funding request

Postby byegad » 4 Mar 2011, 7:48pm

Yes I got an email and then a letter. As I left them on a policy matter over a year ago my reply to the email was, err.......... terse!




OK.... Rude!
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Re: Sustrans funding request

Postby irc » 4 Mar 2011, 7:57pm

I've got mixed views on Sustrans. Some of their signposting is useful but they give their blessing to some seriously sub standard routes.

The only time I e-mailed them pointing out an inaccuracy on their website I got no reply and the fault was not corrected.
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Re: Sustrans funding request

Postby David Cox » 5 Mar 2011, 8:26pm

Sustrans is a very specific type of organisation, I've been a supporter for many years which is different from being a member.
I seem to cross their routes a lot but rarely follow them very far. They do raise the profile of cycling. Having set up the Network "hardware" they seem to have moved to the "software" of getting more people to ride which is a good aim encouraged by Cycling England, Big Lottery etc. Recently I was lucky enough to spend time with their excellent Bike It officers from across the country who work on cycling to school linking with local authorities. CTC's Bike Club does similar activities with young people in extended schools and youth clubs. I think this work with children is fabulous and well worth a donation (with the Gift Aid!). But given that the bankers have made off with the public purse its going to be a long time before we see the likes of Cycling England funding and coordinating major initiatives again.

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Re: Sustrans funding request

Postby byegad » 9 Mar 2011, 12:27pm

irc wrote:I've got mixed views on Sustrans. Some of their signposting is useful but they give their blessing to some seriously sub standard routes.

The only time I e-mailed them pointing out an inaccuracy on their website I got no reply and the fault was not corrected.


My local group have a thing about kids on motorbikes using their off road route. So they are erecting barriers. Result? I can't access huge parts of their routes any more on my trikes. (I ride three wheels on doctor's orders.) Last time I was past the entrance to one stretch three kids on motorbikes roared past on the route. So the barriers don't work for them as they simply smash down a few fences to circumvent the barriers.
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Re: Sustrans funding request

Postby toontra » 10 Mar 2011, 9:10am

robgul wrote:In today's financial climate the obvious and achievable way forward for cycling provision is to use the existing road infrastructure rather than creating building work - giving people guidance on routes that work for utility and leisure journeys.


Agreed. And this should start with removing all the pinch-points which have been created in the last few years (certainly in London), which are the single most dangerous aspect of cycling in urban areas (second only to junctions). How the hell CTC or any other cycling advisory body presided over their implementation in the first place is beyond me - unless this just illustrates that they actually have very little influence anyway.

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Re: Sustrans funding request

Postby thirdcrank » 10 Mar 2011, 12:17pm

It's worth reflecting that if there was one truly awful paragraph in the generally excellent Cycle-friendly Infrastrcture it was the one about road narrowings. Whether something better would have made much difference, I don't know and we never will.

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Re: Sustrans funding request

Postby David Cox » 10 Mar 2011, 2:54pm

I couldn't agree more. One traffic engineer in Birmingham once admitted that the "keep left" pinch points (and pedestrian refuges) he was so enthusiastically putting in were using the cyclists as speed bump equivalents to slow traffic. Some of the young warm hatch Jeremies round here just go round the right hand side. I see plenty of the signs lying around but don't know whether that is drivers hitting them or yobs bouncing them. I suspect they are more of an irritant than a real danger but dont know if there are stats to prove this.