Contributed by June Tranmer
My normal day consists of getting up early, doing my exercises, having breakfast, then getting on my bike (between 7:30 and 9, depending on the day) and cycling along the mess that is Piccadilly on my way to work in Museum Street. I work in a 140 year old listed building which has damp issues due to blocked drains (because the council hasn’t got the money to spend on regular clearing of drains, so they only go out to those who shout the loudest or are in the most urgent need). Parts of the building are not accessible to people with mobility issues, which makes every day a challenge as we need to work round this. We are trying to find a better premises to move to soon. I usually need to stay at work until about 7pm, and then I hop on my bike and shake my head in exasperation at the car drivers who insist on turning right from Lendal into Museum Street, even though there is a sign clearly saying no right turn…Then I dash home to potter in my back yard (if there is still daylight / no rain) and have some supper and get on with evening jobs to do with my voluntary work. Some days I have meetings at different parts of the city, and I usually cycle – worrying about the amount of fumes I am breathing in and trying not to get hit by car drivers who are oblivious to bikes and may very well knock me over at any point (has happened twice now in the past few years)
In 10 years’ time, I imagine that I am living in a carbon neutral home in a community setting, where some people work from home, there are some local shops and services, but we are still a part of the city of York, which has had many many more trees planted so we can breathe again in the city centre, and there are streets that have trams, buses and bikes but very few cars, with traffic flowing freely and smoothly. People are healthier, happier and less aggressive on the roads. My workplace has moved to a ground floor, accessible city centre location and I can still cycle or walk to work as I choose, but Piccadilly is now a tree-lined boulevard with beautiful buildings on each side, that are constructed in an environmentally sensitive way and include some lovely homes for people on low incomes / retired people and people with young families. I could go on but have run out of time – in 10 years’ time, I will have all the time I need to do the things I want to do!