My 4th Student Podcast Part 2 Cycle Lanes & Sustrans. The media’s best kept secret

Student Podcast No 4 Part 2 exposes the cycling lobby, Sustrans, responsible for idiotic pop-up cycle lanes nationwide.

It calls the £2bn spend on walking and cycling “Operation Titanic” – serious cycling accidents are the iceberg. RoSPA and the Department of Transport rely on police incidents for their stats – the top of the iceberg – when RoSPA says true figures may be two or three times more.

Not surprisingly, over 60% of people believe it is too dangerous for them to cycle.

Although billions of pounds have been committed to promoting cycling, the number of cyclists has flatlined over the last ten years and they are still about only 1 percent of all road journeys.

Sustrans has become the executive arm of Government in road planning, in central and local government they are now part of the fixtures and fittings. In Newcastle, photographs illustrate the idiocy of their policy and the duplicity of its presentation.

Sustrans are the media’s best kept secret.

The next podcast will expose the Ombudsmen who aren’t and the lawyers who give them aid and comfort.


STUDENT PODCAST 4 PART 1 The £2bn Question for Grant Shapps


How does it come about that the pop-up cycle lane on Gosforth High Street Newcastle was so badly planned that not even cyclists want to use it? Still less does it tempt any motorist to change from car to a bike?

The project manager said of this cycle lane when that the City Council approved it a few years ago “We are tasked with growing cycling in the city to a significant proportion of all trips under five miles. On numbers this could easily mean that to be successful we will need to see up to 3,000 cyclists a day using this corridor to comply with 20% of all trips under five miles.”

A professional survey by local objectors at the time revealed that only about 70 cyclists a day use the High Street, some counting twice on a return journey.

PART 2 My answer: The lobby and two Lawyers who refused to write a letter TO FOLLOW


MY 3rd STUDENT PODCAST In the footsteps of Sir Ken Robinson PART 2

World famous educationalist

What we call the beginning is often the endThe end is where we start from.” TS Eliot ‘Little Gidding’ The Four Quartets

This is what the late Sir Ken Robinson urged, sadly to deaf ears during his lifetime: “Creativity is essential to the success and fulfilment of young people, to the vitality of our communities and to the long-term health of the economy.”

Opportunity for all makes a bigger statement than equal opportunity to go to University just for half a school cohort, the other half left with a sense of failure and on ritalin when they throw a trantrum.

We are equal only sometimes, unequal most times and different always.

Keep the National Curriculum for the “brainy”, the scientists and the medics and technocrats who need three or more years study in a University setting.

However provide an Alternative Curriculum for the “bright eyed and bushy tailed”, often in SMEs in the private sector, street wise more than book-wise. This could include Design, DIY, healthy diet and cooking, drama and poetry, human rights, conversational languages, the world’s faiths and mutual respect, the environment – Greta Thunberg stuff. Holistic, to be enjoyed and valued for a lifetime not just for a job, and open ended.enjoyed, valued for life not just for a job, and open ended.

The “bright eyed and bushy tailed” have no time for three years’ University study, but one-year courses in a University could sharpen their cutting edge in a highly competitive world if the Universities could be sufficiently clued up to provide them. Their firms would fund them as a business expense.

Meanwhile bring back State Scholarships. They encourage ambition and promote excellence, never mind the inequality. But keep them to those disciplines the country needs, for scientists, doctors & nurses.

Meanwhile bring back State Scholarships. They encourage ambition and promote excellence, never mind inequality. But keep them to those disciplines the country needs, for scientists, doctors & nurses, and urban planners.

 And there should be gap years for students – but not from university – from SME’s in the private sector taking one-year courses at Uni;  students’ fees would be a business expense, providing an additional skill of value and would not be a charge on the students.

Schools should be for their pupils and Universities for their students, not the other way round, and there should be an end to the triarchy of the public sector, the private sector and Academia, each in their own silo, each thinking they are the important bit. And end to the constant “You and US” in society.

Instead, especially in education, there should be a team game of all three investing in the students of today, the future of tomorrow, and not at their expense.

Very simply, the more winners, the fewer the losers.

Click Student Podcast 3 Part 2