Dzień dobry Gdansk

How good is the cycling policy in your town, city or region? Is it effective and efficient? How can you improve it? The best tool to answer these questions is BYPAD (Bicycle Policy Audit), an audit process developed by an international consortium of cycling experts as part of an EU-funded project. www.bypad.org

TI consultants Alex Sully and Rob Marshall are two of only a small number of accredited BYPAD auditors based in the UK. The process consists of 9 modules covering the complete range of issues associated with delivering more cycling. The modules look at functional areas – planning, actions and effects – and determine quality levels based on a consensus view.

Rob Marshall returned from Poland in May where he has been assisting the City of Gdansk as part of a BYPAD audit they are undertaking. Rob’s main role in the event was in taking the participants through the first four ‘planning modules’ of the BYPAD process: User Needs, Leadership, Policy on Paper and Means and Personnel.
Making comparisons with UK experience is considered particularly appropriate for Poland as it starts the process of providing a more cycle-friendly environment. It is felt that Poland is probably 20 years behind the UK in this process and as such can benefit from an appreciation of the UK experience.

Gdansk, unlike most Polish cities and towns, has some existing dedicated cycling infrastructure, based mainly on dedicated off-road paths. The quality and usefulness is variable (in common with the UK!) and substantial work is required to move forward. There is considerable re-development (remember, the once busy Gdansk
shipyards, now all but gone, and the ‘Solidarity Union’ which precipitated much change in Poland) and politicians are aware of the positive role that cycling can play in 21st century cities. With no national cycling strategy in place, Gdansk has to ‘go it alone’ in trail-blazing the cause of providing for cyclists. As with UK towns and cities, the legacy of providing for motorised access and convenience means that there is considerable resistance to restricting car use and re-allocating limited urban space to cyclists. The BYPAD process will assess the current position of cycling in Gdansk, what can be achieved and provide an action plan to get there.

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Practical Audits:
• Cycle Skills Network Audits – North East Lincolnshire and Camden Borough
• CERS – Horsham and Southwater

Transport Initiatives leads the way in Ireland:
• Cycle training
• International Panel of Experts


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