As the local press has spotted I've put a motion in to the council calling on the Royal Mail to reconsider it's decision to phase our most bike deliveries. As a cyclist myself I know that cycling can be the most efficient, cheap and environmentally friendly way to get about and I suspect this proposal was drawn up by someone who hasn't experienced cycling in general or delivering by bike in particular. I've done both, although not as a postal worker and I should also probably declare that my husband is a former cycling postman!
This is a draft text of the speech I plan to give tomorrow (although I may adlib/shorten it a bit, I think it currently takes about 3 minutes...):
Our council is proudly committed to reducing our carbon footprint and working with others to improve the environment
It has also been, and I hope will continue to be, council policy to reduce congestion, encourage cycle use and to reduce air pollution in our borough.
Therefore I’m hoping this motion will attract all party support. It’s relevant to
borough council as it is our street network that will be affected, our air quality that will be damaged and our residents who ultimately will suffer from this! Reading
At present our postmen and women delivering to our doors with their study bikes are a familiar site in our community. As elected representatives I’m sure we all have experience of delivering our own leaflets to our constituents and I’ve personally found that using a bike can be the most efficient way to get about when doing this.
The Royal Mail’s previous chief executive announced a plan to phase out almost all bike delivery to be replaced by more vans and electric trolleys. This motion simply supports the campaign for the new chief executive to reconsider. As a local union representative recently said to me:
“This proposal increases substantially the size of Royal mails fleet, will inflate fuel and vehicle maintenance costs, will increase congestion on our over burdened roads during peak morning traffic, and it is far from Eco friendly.”
The Cyclist Touring Club and many postmen and women are opposing the proposal, which is being advocated on spurious ‘health and safety’ grounds – ignoring the reduced sickness and the increased life expectancy that cyclists enjoy.
I would ask all members to support this motion to maintain the positive contribution that postal deliveries by bike make to Reading and support ordinary postal workers, union representatives and the Cyclists Touring Club who want to see common sense prevail."