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Swiss capital Bern loses half its cycle campaign funding after vote blunder

Green councillors in Bern mistakenly pressed the green button not the red one when issue

A campaign to get more people cycling in the Swiss capital, Bern, will have less than half the funding that was anticipated after city councillors pressed the wrong button to vote through the budget for it.

Councillors voted yesterday on how much money to allocate to a three-year campaign called ‘Cycling is Cool’ due to be launched in the new year.

With most councillors backing the campaign, which aims to get more people cycling in the city, it was expected that the approval of a 750,000 Swiss Franc (£573,000) budget would be a formality.

Or it would have been, had confusion not intervened, reports 20minutes.ch.

Patrick Wyss revealed that he had pressed the wrong button in the chamber’s electronic voting system.

To compound his mistake, ensured that his fellow councillors in Green Free List party made the same error.

They should have pressed the green button, but instead pressed the red one – meaning that there was not the necessary majority to approve the full funding.

Instead, the initiative will receive a grant of 350,000 Swiss Francs (£267,000) for the three-year period – or 46.7 per cent of what was expected.

“I misunderstood the president of the council and thought the vote was for a different motion,” Wyss said.

 Once he became aware of his error, he asked for the vote to be held again, but the president of the council declined to agree to his request, saying it had been lodged too late.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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