Conveners Report to the 2023 AGM

from John Davidson HCC Convener

This year has been another busy year for the committee members. We have continued to respond to proposals particularly in the Inverness area, as well as offering support for projects further afield.

In Inverness, plans for Academy Street have caused some continuing discussion. It’s important for us to let our councillors know our feelings on that one – their inboxes being filled with positive emails about changes to the street made a difference in moving the project onto the next stage.

I plan to offer a letter of support to the proposals as a “fair compromise” to give essential access for businesses and improving safety and making the city centre generally a nicer place to spend time and money.

We have also offered a letter of support to a project to create a safe cycling link between Garve and Contin, avoiding the busy A835.

Highland Cycle Campaign has also signed up – for free – to the Cycle Advocacy Network, run by Cycling UK. There is a link on the website to lots of resources for campaigning.

As a committee, we have also been discussing the future direction of Highland Cycle Campaign. It’s fair to say we have struggled for time to do everything we would like, but thankfully there are many other people within the community who are also pushing for improvements – including Critical Mass, Kidical Mass and Velocity.

We see our future role as being to support and promote these wider community efforts. The history of the HCC gives it a value when it comes to speaking on behalf of cyclists across the region, and we can add our voice to help grassroots community projects whether in Inverness, Skye, Garve, Thurso or elsewhere.

We also have a pot of money in the bank. We have started to discuss the idea of offering small grants for projects to help those doing work “on the ground”.

As an addendum, I have also been made aware that the local access forum – which met for the first time since 2019 recently – is looking for a cycling representative.