Thornton On Thursday: Think twice, think bike

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I’m confused – does Peterborough want to be a bike-friendly city or not? Cycling in the city is a surprisingly hot topic.

The city council has long spouted its aspiration to be the green capital of the UK so you would think that encouraging people to get on their bikes would be fairly high on the agenda.

Yet those who do employ pedal power feel hard done by. Either that or the cycling fraternity has a higher proportion of whingers than can be found amongst the rest of society.

Peterborough seemed to be ahead of the game when the £11million Green Wheel was created (although I was never sure how a few cycle paths added up to such a vast outlay).

But the two-wheelers moan the cycle routes are unloved and even neglected. And don’t get them started on the daytime ban in place on Bridge Street. Please don’t get them started.

Council leader Marco Cereste even got in the saddle for the first time in 40 years to see what it was like for himself . Afterwards Cllr Cereste reiterated council support but said it could do a better job for cyclists.

I wonder then if the city bid for part of the eye-watering £115million pot the deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has made available for cycling schemes?

And if not, why not?

Because if the city really wants to be a cyclists’ haven it has to put the wheels in motion – it won’t happen by itself.

Mind you, it might all be academic as if people have to take the measures Peterborough police suggest to keep their bike safe it’s hardly worth the bother.

I wonder if those professional cyclists who are heading to the city for this year’s Tour series race know they need to “lock their bikes through both wheels and frame, using two different locks, leave it in a well-lit public area, not leave it for prolonged periods of time unattended, avoid leaving it in the same place on a regular basis and where possible take all removable and quick release parts with them.’’

Faced with that I think even Sir Bradley Wiggins might prefer to get in a car.

It’s probably not escaped your attention the one thing that gets my goat is people and organisations who refuse to comment on matters of clear public interest.

The latest to be included on my roll of shame is Peterborough (Progress Health) the PFI provider for Peterborough City Hospital.

It clammed up when asked for a comment on the problems with fire safety standards at the hospital that has led to health chiefs withholding £1.4m from the PFI provider.

How dare they not comment on such an important issue at a public building used at one time or another by every person in this city?

The people of this city deserve much better.

Flicking through last week’s PT what’s on guide I was staggered to find out that in the next few weeks I could go to concerts in and around the city featuring Dolly Parton, David Bowie, Queen and Michael Jackson.

The last two gave the game away - it was not the real thing but tribute acts.

Now I’m sure they deliver a splendid night’s entertainment, but they can’t be anything like the real thing. Or in “Dolly’s’’ case the real things.

Talking of boobs (and I’ve done little else this week) I wonder who was responsible for allowing those solar panels on that house in Ailsworth that has got neighbours hopping madbecause of the light reflecting into their homes. It wasn’t a very bright idea, maybe it was even a glaring error, but I’ve got a blindingly obvious solution – put them where the sun don’t shine.

Diary Of A Bad Dad

Toddler T has had her first brush with the law and, of course, it was Bad Dad’s fault.

As it happens her godmother is a copper, but as Auntie Filth, as I affectionately refer to her, is off duty when she visits, that doesn’t really count.

Last week Toddler T found herself at Thorpe Wood police station. And all because silly daddy had dropped his keys while cycling around Ferry Meadows.

Some kind person had found them and handed them in. And while I fretted and cursed Mrs T had calmly called the cops and discovered they were safe and sound at the cop shop. So off she went with Toddler T and Baby T2 to collect them.

Mrs T was impressed with the customer service and so was Toddler T who was given pictures of a police car and a PCSO to colour in. She was even more delighted to know that both gentlemen on the desk were called Nigel just like her daddy... little things please little people.

Most people would be fazed by being surrounded by so many Nigels but not Toddler T as not only is her daddy a Nigel but her uncle is too.

I wonder what the collective noun for Nigels is. Mrs T suggested a naughty of Nigels but I think a nice of Nigels is better.