Disagreement with AGM resolutions

mattheus
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Re: Disagreement with AGM resolutions

Postby mattheus » 14 Aug 2020, 11:07am

pwa wrote:
irc wrote:The root of this is that Cycling Uk is a campaigning charity with one goal being environmental green issues. The CTC was a club for touring cyclists many of whom chose to fly.

If I wanted to be a member of a charity to promote green issues I would join Greenpeace.

An organisation with an identity problem and, on this issue, pulling in two directions. I think that is correct.


What identity problem? CUK campaigns for cycling and green issues - you will struggle to find two mainstream issues that mesh better!

(Cyclists who are *totally* agnostic about green issues are in a tiny minority.)

For the most part, their goals also aid touring cyclists.

pwa
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Re: Disagreement with AGM resolutions

Postby pwa » 14 Aug 2020, 12:10pm

mattheus wrote:
pwa wrote:
irc wrote:The root of this is that Cycling Uk is a campaigning charity with one goal being environmental green issues. The CTC was a club for touring cyclists many of whom chose to fly.

If I wanted to be a member of a charity to promote green issues I would join Greenpeace.

An organisation with an identity problem and, on this issue, pulling in two directions. I think that is correct.


What identity problem? CUK campaigns for cycling and green issues - you will struggle to find two mainstream issues that mesh better!

(Cyclists who are *totally* agnostic about green issues are in a tiny minority.)

For the most part, their goals also aid touring cyclists.

Flying to your cycling holiday is not at odds with a love of cycling, which is what CTC used to focus on. But it is at odds with sustainable living, which is what CUK now seems to want to represent. Do you want a cycle touring organisation that offers any product that allows enjoyable cycling experiences, or do you want a green cycling organisation that only offers products that are "green"? You can't have both. I'm not a member so I don't care which of those two is chosen. Either would be honest, but pretending to be green whilst promoting destinations you can only, realistically fly to is dishonest nonsense.

mattheus
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Re: Disagreement with AGM resolutions

Postby mattheus » 14 Aug 2020, 12:24pm

Sounds like the 'ole Fallacy of Perfection to me.

It's like criticising Greenpeace for flying to a Climate Change Conference. Or printing leaflets. Or having children ...

pwa
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Re: Disagreement with AGM resolutions

Postby pwa » 14 Aug 2020, 12:34pm

mattheus wrote:Sounds like the 'ole Fallacy of Perfection to me.

It's like criticising Greenpeace for flying to a Climate Change Conference. Or printing leaflets. Or having children ...

If you see no contradiction in "being green" and flying, your mind works differently to mine.

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CJ
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Re: Disagreement with AGM resolutions

Postby CJ » 14 Aug 2020, 1:03pm

For evidence that the policy of Cycling UK regarding bikes on trains does nothing for cycle-touring you need look no further than this page on their website. Their policy is all about: "choosing to commute by bike" and taking "your bike on the train with no charge". Nowhere does it talk about the train's essential role in the car-free lifestyle, as a long-range bicycle launcher! For those less frequent, long-distance journeys, the security of a booked place for your bike is essential and prioritising short-distance freeloaders gets in the way of that.

It is a truism that a free service ultimately becomes a worthless service and we see the truth of it in what has happened since CTC 'won' their pyrric victory of free bike travel in the 80s. At the time I said it would serve cycling better to campaign for a simple, any-distance bicycle fee, about the same as the passenger fare for a 50 mile journey. And since then I've seen the number of places available for bikes drastically reduced whilst the difficulty of booking and the probability of refused assess to a train at some point in a long journey have both increased, to the point when in 2005 I bought a car.

A flat fee for bikes is what you will find in any country where cycling is popular, because commuting with your bike on the train is only possible so long as very few people want to do it - or if it is a very compact folding bike. In those countries, taking your normal bike on the train is an off-peak or long-distance mode and always costs the same flat fare. Short bike-rail journeys are still possible, but relatively expensive, which is as it should be, because the frequent loading and unloading of bikes that goes with short journeys, delays trains. And the space occupied by the short hop bike may deny access to someone on a much longer (and more expensive) journey, such that they miss a vital connection.

Contrast the manifesto of the European Cycling Federation. Point 7, on multi-modal travel says:
Access to mobility rather than owning a private car will become the default solution in the 21st century sharing economy. Cycling must be a full partner in this. If the EU is to fund the development of multi-modal journey planners, information about bicycle networks, access to bike-sharing schemes and bike parking has to be integrated. Likewise, bike-sharing schemes should be a full part of integrated ticketing schemes. On long-distance train journeys, the carriage of complete bicycles should be allowed on all services, amending Regulation EC 1371/2007 on passenger rights’ and obligations accordingly.


In their vision, taking a bike with you on the train is primarily a long-distance affair. And this is not just a nice to have, but a major campaign for the ECF, so important that Trains for Cyclists is currently one of the top headings on their website!

Why doesn't Cycling UK do something like that? Don't you think it would be more constructive than 'tourist shaming'?
Chris Juden
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Will
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Re: Disagreement with AGM resolutions

Postby Will » 14 Aug 2020, 1:27pm

Why are Cycling UK not a member of the ECF? Sustrans and Cycling Scotland are members.

Will

mattheus
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Re: Disagreement with AGM resolutions

Postby mattheus » 14 Aug 2020, 1:37pm

pwa wrote:
mattheus wrote:Sounds like the 'ole Fallacy of Perfection to me.

It's like criticising Greenpeace for flying to a Climate Change Conference. Or printing leaflets. Or having children ...

If you see no contradiction in "being green" and flying, your mind works differently to mine.


So which green/enviromental NGOs meet your approval?

mattheus
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Re: Disagreement with AGM resolutions

Postby mattheus » 14 Aug 2020, 1:41pm

CJ wrote:<snip>

its a truism that a free service ultimately becomes a worthless service and we see the truth of it in what has happened since CTC 'won' their pyrric victory of free bike travel in the 80s. At the time I said it would serve cycling better to campaign for a simple, any-distance bicycle fee, about the same as the passenger fare for a 50 mile journey. And since then I've seen the number of places available for bikes drastically reduced whilst the difficulty of booking and the probability of refused assess to a train at some point in a long journey have both increased, to the point when in 2005 I bought a car.


Chris,
If i'd understood this problem in the 80s* as I do know, I promise i would have tried to do something about it!

I've bike/trained quite a few times in Europe now, and their systems make far more sense.


*when I was still at school, but anyway ...

Will
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Re: Disagreement with AGM resolutions

Postby Will » 14 Aug 2020, 2:51pm

mattheus wrote:
CJ wrote:<snip>

its a truism that a free service ultimately becomes a worthless service and we see the truth of it in what has happened since CTC 'won' their pyrric victory of free bike travel in the 80s. At the time I said it would serve cycling better to campaign for a simple, any-distance bicycle fee, about the same as the passenger fare for a 50 mile journey. And since then I've seen the number of places available for bikes drastically reduced whilst the difficulty of booking and the probability of refused assess to a train at some point in a long journey have both increased, to the point when in 2005 I bought a car.


Chris,
If i'd understood this problem in the 80s* as I do know, I promise i would have tried to do something about it!

I've bike/trained quite a few times in Europe now, and their systems make far more sense.


*when I was still at school, but anyway ...


I think what is required is a two pronged approach. Local and regional trains should have a multi-purpose area in each carriage that can be used by wheelchair users, bikes, passengers, or luggage. These spaces should be free to use on a first come first served basis (but wheelchairs should have priority over all other users). The Eurobahn trains that run between The Netherlands and Germany have multi-use spaces like that in each carriage, and some of them can accommodate 30 bikes:

Image

Long distance and Inter City trains should have bookable bike spaces which can be reserved, but also require a paid for bicycle ticket. I think not allowing rail companies to charge for these types of spaces simply disincentivizes them to provide a decent service. I think most cyclists would be happy to pay for a service that met their needs. Instead we have the situation where things just keep getting worse with each new train rollout.

Will

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Philip Benstead
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Re: Disagreement with AGM resolutions

Postby Philip Benstead » 14 Aug 2020, 3:07pm

wasted (long) quotation
Image Attachments
20200721_104552.jpg
Crossrail Train Carriage
Philip Benstead | Life Member Former CTC Councillor/Trustee
Organizing events and representing cyclist in southeast since 1988
Bikeability Instructor/Mechanic

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CJ
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Re: Disagreement with AGM resolutions

Postby CJ » 14 Aug 2020, 4:46pm

Will wrote:Why are Cycling UK not a member of the ECF? Sustrans and Cycling Scotland are members.

Good point, glad you made it. And even those organisations are merely Associate members.

CTC used also to be an Associate member, because (like Sustrans) we were always too mean to pay the full rate. Now, so it seems, we are too mean to contribute at all, to campaigns such as this:

Image
1train8bikes.gif
ECF Trains for Cyclists campaign
1train8bikes.gif (9.54 KiB) Viewed 313 times

Until this campaign has achieved its objective, it is ridiculous to pretend that we can simply go by train. And rather than shame its own members for taking the only available alternative, Cycling UK should be ashamed of itself for failing to put the money that WE long-suffering cycle-tourists have raised for it, into this, the one campaign that stands a chance of enabling clean, green cycle-tourism.
Chris Juden
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Philip Benstead
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Re: Disagreement with AGM resolutions

Postby Philip Benstead » 14 Aug 2020, 5:26pm

PT thought the fees for ECF was too high. The trustees fell into line and did pay the fees.

NB many years ago when I was Chair of the Town and Contryside committee of the CTC I was responsible for the production of the first CTC Cycle Carriage on trains policy. Does CUK have such policy now?
Philip Benstead | Life Member Former CTC Councillor/Trustee
Organizing events and representing cyclist in southeast since 1988
Bikeability Instructor/Mechanic

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CJ
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Re: Disagreement with AGM resolutions

Postby CJ » 14 Aug 2020, 6:04pm

pwa wrote:Do you want a cycle touring organisation that offers any product that allows enjoyable cycling experiences, or do you want a green cycling organisation that only offers products that are "green"? You can't have both. I'm not a member so I don't care which of those two is chosen. Either would be honest, but pretending to be green whilst promoting destinations you can only, realistically fly to is dishonest nonsense.


Green is not a black and white issue!

There are many different shades of green, some are greener than others and some are just green enough not to be brown. Perfection is the enemy of good. We cycle and that is good. But parts of our bicycles are not at all green in their production and distribution. And don't get me started on driving to the bikepath. If Cycling UK were to dissasociate itself from any kind of cycling not as purely green as a new leaf in spring, it wouldn't be left with much to represent or many supporters!

We have to live in the world as it is now, in a far from perfect state, whilst trying to make it better. So the first thing to ask about Cycling UK is whether it's trying to make cycling greener. Is it doing all it reasonably can to make the bike-rail alternative more attractive to cycle-tourists? I put it to you that by ducking out of the ECF and its Trains for Cyclists campaign it's falling a long way short of that. Get this: we do not want to fly. We want to go by train - just like we used to. But alienate us with this empty, useless gesture and Cycling UK will only become a smaller, narrower, less representative organisation, unable to change anything much.

Yes flying is horribly dark and brown. But given a whole year of bright green cycling from home, inspired by the thought of those two weeks somewhere sunny, with careful drivers, better bikepaths (pick two!) and you should be able to add a couple of short flights without completely changing the colour!
Chris Juden
One lady owner, never raced or jumped.

Rogerh
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Re: Disagreement with AGM resolutions

Postby Rogerh » 14 Aug 2020, 9:20pm

What are the actual emissions?

The BBC fact check gives a lot of information, https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-49349566 , summarised in this graph
Image
A car will probably cover a considerably greater distance than the plane (because the route of a plane is much more direct than a car, which has to follow the roads). Many people will also put their bike on a roof rack, which will also increase fuel consumption. So perhaps we should be recommending the use of planes, rather than the private car, to go on cycle tours.
We have to be aware of the effects of any travelling, especially by car and plane. However, if we are going to demonise air travel it is hypocritical not to note that travelling by car may produce more CO2 than travelling by plane.

What this article does show is that train or coach are better alternatives IF we only could only actually use them easily, and that is what CUK should be trying to enable.

The CUK motion is a good example of trying to use a simplistic and impractical solution, often known as Green Wash.


Roger Hill

MattHodges
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Re: Disagreement with AGM resolutions

Postby MattHodges » 14 Aug 2020, 9:39pm

A few years ago to describe someone as green meant they were ignorant or didn't understand things. Perhaps that meaning still applies in Cycling UK.
Matt H