Monday, 21 April 1997

Transport Campaigns: Dec 1996 - April 1997

Transport Campaign - Review of 1996
1996 was a very active year for our Transport group due to our own campaign priorities such as the Public Transport Information Campaign and the opportunities created by FoE in London (FoE’s main target this year was the car).

Some of the many transport related events carried out during the last year include: Smog busting, chairing the public meeting for the Road Traffic Reduction Bill, several visits to the Newbury by-pass site, Action against Costain, surrounding the Department of Transport in London, putting the car on trial, entering the monster car in the Lord Mayor’s parade and winning 2nd prize, commenting on the Council’s transport bid for Government cash, getting the Telegraph to publish the Cars Cost the Earth quiz and numerous other things.

Next year’s campaigning probably won’t be as hectic as this year’s, but nevertheless, we’ll continue to focus on the lack of public transport information and we’ll take up other issues when sensible to do so.

Smog Busting on London Road - 1996
Monster Car - Lord Mayor's Parade 1996
Cars Cost the Earth Quiz
As promised by Sheffield Telegraph, our Cars Cost the Earth quiz was featured in the edition dated Friday 18th October 1996. It occupied nearly one-third of a page and contained all the text we wanted printing.

This quiz has obviously been  seen by thousands of Sheffield people and should hopefully attract their attention more than a standard press release due to the prizes we could offer them.

All too often we tell you about campaign successes, such as this one, but it’s not common for us to talk about how we achieve the success and how much work is really involved. So here goes....

The only people involved in promoting this quiz were Shaun and Rebecca. Fortunately, not much effort was needed as the letters asking for prizes and the actual text for the quiz were produced for us by FoE in London.  All we had to do is change the words “Friends of the Earth” to “Sheffield Friends of the Earth” and then post a few letters.

The only other requirement for doing something like this is to be available during the day so that you can contact journalists and the people donating prizes. If this is a problem, as it was in this case, there is always someone willing to help you - so don’t feel that you have to do everything on your own.

The reason for mentioning this is to show that campaigning and getting involved needn't be difficult or time consuming. The battery-free radio campaign will operate in a similar way to this campaign whereby most of the work is done for us by the wonderful people in London. Perhaps people would like to help Rebecca promote the battery free radio?

Transport - Healthy Sheffield
We have enclosed a leaflet about this public consultation with the Newsletter, the full document is available free from Healthy Sheffield, address in the leaflet. We will be responding as a group (even though we were involved in writing the document), but it would be great if a lot of our members responded as private citizens. If you work, would your employer give a favourable response? If yes, encourage them to do so. And if you are involved in any other group of any sort please try to persuade them to send in their comments.

Things you might want to ask for include:

  • better co-ordination of public transport,
  • cross ticketing, 
  • better facilities for cyclists and walkers, 
  • good bus stop information, 
  • traffic calming for the area you live or work in, 
  • less traffic in the city centre and in neighbourhood shopping areas.

You could use this consultation as an opportunity to raise transport issues with your employer:

  • do they provide changing facilities for cyclists?
  • do they encourage employers to use public transport by subsidising bus passes rather than company cars?
  • could they give cycle mileage allowances?
  • do they tell visitors how to get there by public transport?

If you can't think what to say Sheffield Friends of the Earth’s response will be available in late January, please phone Rebecca Higman for a copy.
 
N.B. The consultation period has been extended to the end of March 1997.

Less Traffic Rally in London
On Wednesday 22 January 1997 there will be a chance to show the weight of numbers behind the Road Traffic Reduction Bill. First there will be a rally at Westminster Central Hall (assembling at 1pm) before going over to the House of Commons to lobby our MPs.

To transport members from Sheffield to London we are planning to take advantage of the rail offer which allows 4 people to travel to London and back for about £28 (this will cost £3.50 to London and £3.50 back). However, to do this we need people to contact us as soon as possible so that we can book the tickets which are available in limited numbers.

To pay for the tickets we will collect your money every time we have 4 people confirmed as wanting to go to London. For more information contact Shaun.

Public Transport Information Campaign
Now that most of the Cars Cost the Earth stunts have been completed the transport group has found time to carry on with the Public Transport Information Campaign which aims to encourage the SYPTE and bus companies to provide better information at bus/tram stops and on board vehicles.

We have recently written another letter to the SYPTE asking them to tell us how far the have got (obviously not very far) and whether we could arrange another meeting. Members of the group are also contacting several bus companies for their opinions.

After completing this and other research if nothing has happened we are planning to undertake a stunt which would involve putting information posters on one bus stop in the City Centre so that the public can see what they are missing out on.                                                        

We would use this as a media stunt to embarrass the SYPTE and to encourage the public to make a fuss about the issue.

Call For Help With Tram & Cycle Study
The MVA Consultancy is conducting a study to ascertain how cyclists can safely be accommodated in the design of rapid transit systems and to investigate the potential for local trips to combine both cycling and rapid transit modes.

They are interested in the experiences (both good and bad) of cyclists with rapid transit systems and would be particularly keen to hear from any who have suffered an accident while cycling which involved either the rapid transit vehicle or the tracks.

Please email Rosemary Sharples on enquiries@mva.co.uk or write to her at The MVA Consultancy, 26th Floor, Piccadilly Plaza, Manchester M1 4BT.

Further details can be found at:
http://www.mva-group.com/interest/pressrel/cyclrt1.htm.