Friday, 11 March 2011

Thursday 10th March 11

Up early as had to be at Mill House on North Street for 10am, and as it was very windy, I set off in good time as when it's windy... and blowing from the direction you're travelling in, it really slows you down.  But when I reached town, I saw I had 15 minutes to spare, and then I saw a skip with assorted pots and planters in it, so I rescued some of them, and got to the meeting with 5 minutes to spare.

The meeting was with the Council's Event's Officer, Liz Topi, the Police, Licencing and Highways, and was to discuss the forthcoming York World Naked Cycle Ride.  What the organisers would like is for the ride to go ahead with a Police escort, to 'cork' junctions and allow the group of 100 or so riders to stay as one group, rather than being split at traffic lights and other junctions, and risk getting motorists in the middle of the cyclists, which we feel is unsafe.  However, in York, the Police have decided that they are not responsible for managing traffic, and this is left to the Council.  So, if we wanted to be an official event with a Council Traffic Order, and junctions controlling, this would apparently cost thousands of pounds.  If we requested the Police do it, they too would charge for the service, if they were allowed to do it.

So, we are going to go ahead with the less safe situation of the riders obeying the rules of the road, but getting split up in the process, and having to stop on the highway to regroup.  Far from ideal.  In Manchester and Sheffield, the Police look after the riders and ensure motorists don't get tangled up with the cyclists.  We had lots more discussion, about a risk assessment, insurance, a change of route to avoid the Carnival, which Liz says will have 800 children there and she doesn't want the cyclists to 'upset' them.  But the organisers' main concern is that the ride goes ahead and is safe and fun for all, and makes the point about our vulnerability on today's car-infested roads. 

Right towards the end of the meeting there was a fire alarm, so we concluded the meeting outside.

I cycled home and wrote up the notes from the meeting and emailed them to all concerned.

I got an email from Chloe at Edible York confirming that they'd like another 15 sacks of compost for the Barbican raised beds.  To be collected on Sunday.  I'm very pleased to get such a big order, and even more so that the beds will be used to grow food.

I did a bit of moving stuff around; sawdust down the garden, compost up the garden, vegetables down the garden.... logs down to the woodshed. 

I came in at about 6... Gill had made some celery and sweet potato soup, so I had that and went out to Central Hall at the University to see Greg Dyke talking about the Yes campaign to reform our voting system.  This was good, and I'll be voting Yes to introduce AV, which is a first step towards Proportional Representation, my preferred method of electing representatives.

I chatted with Charles afterwards, and collected all the burst balloons, and then on the way home... found a pile of logs! 

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