28-04-2013 Get Britain Cycling

The report of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group ’Get Britain Cycling’ has just been published (24/04). Key recommendations include:

  • More of the transport budget should be spent on supporting cycling, at a rate initially set to at least £10 per person per year, and increasing as cycling levels increase
  • Cycling should be considered at an earlier stage in all planning decisions, whether transport schemes or new houses or businesses
  • More use should be made of segregated cycle lanes, learning from the Dutch experience • Urban speed limits should generally be reduced to 20 mph
  • All children at school should learn to ride a bike
  • The Government should produce a detailed cross-departmental Cycling Action Plan, with annual progress reports

But will anything actual happen?? Norman Baker – Minister of Transport –  seems genuinely supportive. Less certain is what the prime minister’s stance will be. However he may feel some pressure with rival Boris Johnson being so active on London cycling.

Philip Pank, transport correspondent of the Times, which has of course been leading its own cycle safety campaign following the serious injury to colleague Mary Bowers hit by a lorry turning left in Nov last year and sadly still not conscious.

There is a lot of info on their site and certainly worth signing up for their campaign if you have not not already: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/cyclesafety/pledge/

Two strands come together in that the Times is urging all cyclists to sign the following government e-petition:

We the undersigned call on the Prime Minister to pledge that the Government will implement the recommendations in the ‘Get Britain Cycling’ parliamentary report.

The inquiry, chaired by a cross-party panel of MPs and peers, heard that promoting cycling as a healthy and affordable way to travel can tackle Britain’s obesity crisis, save millions from NHS budgets, boost the economy and reduce congestion on our roads and trains. The inquiry’s 18 recommendations focus on reallocating investment, safer road design, lower speed limits, better training and strong political leadership. This will require cross-departmental consensus led from the Cabinet Office and Downing Street, not just from the Department for Transport.

In the Commons on February 22, 2012, the Prime Minister said of The Times’ ‘Cities Fit for Cycling’ campaign: “If we want to encourage the growth in cycling we’ve seen in recent years, we need to get behind campaigns like this.” Now is the time to act on those words. http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/49196.  Over 20,000 have already signed up in 3 days.