CUK, BC, Sustrans: cooperation, coordination or competition?

Bmblbzzz
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CUK, BC, Sustrans: cooperation, coordination or competition?

Postby Bmblbzzz » 13 Aug 2020, 11:55am

Inspired by the following sentence in a post on the thread about membership rates:
"The reason I keep paying is that I like the fact there are touring groups for those so inclined and having a national voice for non racing cyclists alongside BC and Sustrans."

I agree with that sentiment but it made me wonder how these organisations interact. The time is gone when BC or its forebears was only interested in administering racing, and I don't think there has ever been a time when Sustrans and CUK (or CTC before it) were not at least in part campaigning groups on a national and local level.

So what sort of interaction is there at HQ level between these three cycling organisations? Is there cooperation on national issues or are they competing to be king of the cycling charities? And in what ways? Would it be more effective to have all three united on one issue or to have each pursue its own favoured topic? Thoughts, comments, experiences?

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mjr
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Re: CUK, BC, Sustrans: cooperation, coordination or competition?

Postby mjr » 13 Aug 2020, 12:06pm

The last I knew was that there was a thing called the Active Travel Alliance reuniting these plus CycleNation, the Bicycle Association and maybe Living Streets, the CPRE and London Cycling Campaign.

Is there cooperation or competition? It always looked like veiled competition to me. BC wants CUK's members as supporters, CUK wants everyone's members as associates, Sustrans wants volunteers and donors but not members, all three want government grants, BC has some effectively government-appointed directors now, so all launch their own initiatives and none want to admit that they are trying to eat everyone else's lunch...

However, KLWNBUG no longer has enough volunteers to interact with such national bodies (they are very very high maintenance, replying with things like "call me" which seem easy if you have paid staff working daytimes but not for what are basically weekend volunteers who already struggle to attend weekday meetings with local government), CycleNation seems to be stumbling along, neither CUK nor BC affiliation work for us and CUK seem to have given up talking to independent local campaigns, so I've been out of touch with what's going on at national level for a year or two.
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Re: CUK, BC, Sustrans: cooperation, coordination or competition?

Postby mjr » 13 Aug 2020, 12:09pm

I thought it had been renamed but maybe not: "The Walking and Cycling Alliance is made up of the Bicycle Association, British Cycling, Cycling UK, Living Streets, The Ramblers and Sustrans." https://www.sustrans.org.uk/our-blog/ne ... d-cycling/
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Re: CUK, BC, Sustrans: cooperation, coordination or competition?

Postby Bmblbzzz » 13 Aug 2020, 2:02pm

Very good call, in campaigning terms, to include walking, IMO. Walking is just something that everyone does from time to time, whereas cycling is for keen people and cyclists are those lycra-clad loonies, why should Hdwking Txpaying Fmlies see their hdearned tax pounds go to them? Whereas pavements and crossings and stuff, yeah.

Obligatory caveat, by their fruit you shall know them.

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Re: CUK, BC, Sustrans: cooperation, coordination or competition?

Postby mjr » 13 Aug 2020, 2:11pm

I am less sure about that. I can see that it helps with the general public, but there have been numerous examples of refusenik councils diverting cycling budgets into walking projects with a token cycling element (the 2015ish Norwich Tombland project, successive "Norfolk Walking and Cycling Festivals" with rules so restrictive that only the council can run cycling events as part of it but they run none, or the whole Norfolk Trails project that signposts walking routes for every mid-size village but won't put up cycle route signs), similar to how cycling budgets (used to?) get diverted into motoring projects with token cycling elements.
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Re: CUK, BC, Sustrans: cooperation, coordination or competition?

Postby Bmblbzzz » 13 Aug 2020, 5:02pm

Helping with support from the public was what I had in mind. But TBH if it gets walking schemes where there would otherwise only have been "roads for cars" - and if they're decent, which of course is not a given - that's also a win in my book.

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Re: CUK, BC, Sustrans: cooperation, coordination or competition?

Postby geocycle » 13 Aug 2020, 7:11pm

I made the comment quoted by the OP. I made a similar embark about the time of the charity debate as it seemed that the aims of the various organisations had coalesced in a similar place. I still think the members groups and catering for an older and growing demographic gives CUK a USP it needs to nurture. That said we all want more cyclists so I hope cooperation is taking place.

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Re: CUK, BC, Sustrans: cooperation, coordination or competition?

Postby Bmblbzzz » 13 Aug 2020, 8:08pm

I'd hope so, but - even without mjr's "veiled competition" comment - I don't see any evidence of actual cooperation. Unless it is in fact more a coordinated divvyng up, "you do that while we concentrate on this and it all adds up to positive effect".