• “All together now”: A sociological investigation into the local deliverance of the Cycling Demonstration Towns Project ‘Cycle Chester’

      Bloyce, Daniel; White, Christopher (University of Chester, 2014-10)
      In 2007 it was announced by Cycling England that Chester was to become a Cycling Demonstration Town (Cycling England, 2010). Rather than the typical English local authority spend on cycling promotion, this meant that Chester would receive a sum of money similar to seemingly pro-cycling cities, such as Amsterdam (DfT, 2008). However there is yet to be an official evaluation of the second round of Cycling Demonstration Towns. This thesis is designed to demonstrate the context of delivering parties in one specific case-study, the Cycling Demonstration Towns Project ‘Cycle Chester’. Fifteen semi-structured interviews explored the views and experiences of various different concerned actors, both inside and outside the core delivery group. The concepts of figurational sociology have been employed to help understand the findings. The principal finding was that the complex figuration in which deliverers were situated meant that the project encountered several unintended outcomes. In addition to this, two key areas were found to have the potential to further complicate the delivery process. Firstly the way in which potential towns and cities were encouraged to apply for funding was found to have large impacts on the project at a later stage. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, the differing goals of the many groups and individuals who were eventually involved with the project meant that interventions were often ‘watered-down’.