Alan Sprod - Certificate of Merit
Mid Bedfordshire is an affluent rural area in a part of the country which has one of the highest densities of car ownership in Britain. A section of the M1 motorway passes through the area, and the surrounding roads are very busy as feeder routes to the motorway network. Consequently it is necessary for the highest level of vigilance if road building and road improvement schemes are not to compromise the safety and freedom of passage that cyclists are entitled to expect. Alan took up this challenge and has discharged the responsibility with diligence and distinction. In 2009 Alan was honoured as CTC Volunteer of the Year for the East of England, and he took third place in the national Volunteer of the Year category.
As Britain entered the twenty-first century the government undertook a nationwide review of motorway capacity which resulted in a major re-working of the M1 in Bedfordshire. The work involved introducing four-lane running necessitating a radical re-design of a number of the motorway junctions from the outskirts of London to Junction 13. Alan represented the voice for the freedom of movement of non-motorised road users who were in danger of being seriously disadvantaged by the consequential effects on local roads in mid-Bedfordshire. Matters emanating from the J13 redesign identified and raised by Alan went for resolution to a Public Inquiry at which Alan put the case for non-motorised road users. When the final Inspector’s Report was published it vindicated Alan’s argument.
Alan was ever vigilant on road reconfigurations and changing traffic patterns in his area. Where a new stretch of road resulted in discontinued use of a parallel old road, Alan was quick to work with the relevant highways authority to secure the necessary adjustments to make the old road accessible as an alternative route for cycles and to sign it as such. He was often frustrated by non-existent and poorly sited signage and would not let matters drop when brushed aside. He was equally vigilant on matters such as cycle parking at, and cycle routes to, Flitwick station and made valued and significant contributions to the Local Area Transport Plan for his home patch - the market towns of Ampthill and Flitwick.
In mid Bedfordshire generations of cyclists to come can thank Alan for his bulldog-like tenacity in working on their behalf. His diligence and persistence over 15 years are worthy of recognition.