Commitment to Cycling

Roger Geffen's picture

Pie in the SkyCycle?

Sir Norman Foster's architects' firm has hit the headlines with plans for aerial SkyCycle routes following rail lines in London. Should we take them seriously or is this simply a publicity stunt on a post-Xmas quiet news day?
Norman Foster & Partners image of a 'SkyCycle' route

He is proposing a network of 220km of 'SkyCycle' routes, mounted above existing railway lines.

Launching his plans, Sir Norman said: "I believe that cities where you can walk or cycle, rather than drive, are more congenial places in which to live. To improve the quality of life for all in London and to encourage a new generation of cyclists, we have to make it safe."  Thus far, I would agree wholeheartedly!

JonathanBillington's picture

From road safety posters to teenage cycling instructor - my journey to the CTC

Now volunteering as CTC's Communications Officer in Reading and offering cycle training to my fellow students at Reading University, I would like to share the story of my journey to being part of CTC.
Jonathan holding a poster of himself as a child

From a very early age I was thrust into the world of road safety. My dad worked for Sandwell Council, which meant I, along with other members of my family, often appeared photographed in road safety publications. At one time you couldn't go through the Sandwell area without seeing my photo plastered on the side of a bus reminding people to 'Belt up!'

Chris Peck's picture

Minister proposes innovative solutions to cycle safety

Transport Minister Robert Goodwill has only been in post for a couple of months, but after the terrible string of deaths in London, cycling has come to dominate his portfolio. The Transport Select Committee took evidence from him this week, many of his responses were encouraging.
Robert Goodwill before the Transport Select Committee

In his evidence to the Transport Select Committee, he was well-briefed and offered some refreshing opinions on cycle safety and increasing cycling.

He's an experienced cyclist and has also driven lorries, putting him in a unique position to comment on the needs of both.

A cyclist - and a lorry driver

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Roger Geffen's picture

Government planning to fail on cycling

Despite huge public and cross-party parliamentary support for substantially increased cycle use between now and 2050, the Government is expecting cycle use to FALL between 2015 and 2025, with little change between then and 2040.
Transport Model forecast for cycling 2010-2040

New figures, obtained by CTC through a parliamentary question, suggest that the Government's 'National Transport Model' is predicting an initial increase in cycle use, due to the economic downturn (from 2.9 bn miles in 2010 to 3.4 bn miles in 2015).

RhiaWeston's picture

Road Justice reveals which police forces are committed to road safety for cyclists

The Road Justice campaign, led by CTC and sponsored by Slater & Gordon Lawyers, has published a map showing which police forces are committed to improving road safety for cyclists.
The map shows police responses to the Road Justice report

The map shows that over a third of forces in England and Wales support at least one of the campaign’s recommendations for improved roads policing.

Chris Peck's picture

Norman Baker replaced as Cycling Minister

Norman Baker MP has been moved to the Home Office, where he'll take a more senior role. His Liberal Democrat replacement, Susan Kramer, was the MP for Richmond Park until the 2010 election and now sits in the House of Lords. The cycling part of his role, however, may go to Robert Goodwill MP.
Norman Baker opening a cycle path in Sussex

It is not yet known whether Kramer will take over Baker's exact brief, or whether roles will be redistributed amongst the other Department for Transport Ministers. 

Robert Goodwill MP, from Scarborough and Whitby, is the new Conservative junior minister in the transport department, and may well take over the cycling brief.

Dorset Cyclists’ Network - a model for nationwide campaigning

Dorset Cycling Network is concerned with bringing about change for cyclists by enabling individuals and institutions within Dorset to network, which yields an attractive model to deliver nationwide county collaboration.
The Dorset Cyclists' Network logo

Dorset Cyclists’ Network (DCN), which was founded in 1992, was designed to provide some cohesion between 11 South West towns, including Bournemouth and Poole, to campaign for cyclists’ needs, alongside CTC. It provides a very attractive example of how effectively multiple local authorities and key players can be lobbied when groups from smaller areas within a single county work in collaboration with one another to raise the profile of cycling across the county.

Cherry Allan's picture

Cycling levels in European countries

How does the UK's level of cycling compare with that of other European countries?

According to a 2013 report from the European Commission, levels of cycling in the UK do not compare at all well with most other EU countries.

Cherry Allan's picture

Cycling and the economy

Cycling contributes more than many people think to local and national economies...
Cyclist in shopping area
Headline Messages: 
  • Our excessive dependence on motorised road transport imposes significant economic costs on society. These include congestion, road casualties, physical inactivity and air pollution (and the associated damage to buildings, ecosystems, agriculture and health), as well as the geopolitical costs of maintaining fossil fuel supplies in an increasingly unstable global environment.
  • Cycling could substantially reduce these risks, while strengthening local economies in both urban and rural areas, supporting local businesses and property values, boosting the economic productivity of a healthy and satisfied workforce, and enabling disadvantaged groups to gain skills and access employment opportunities.
  • Local and national government, businesses and economic regeneration partnerships should therefore invest more heavily in promoting cycling; and the tax system should offer greater support.
CTC View (formal statement of CTC's policy): 
  • The economic benefits of investing in small scale projects that typically benefit cycling are often underestimated. On the other hand, car-dependence is a significant cost for society and large scale transport projects (e.g. roads) are not the value-for-money they are often thought to be.
  • Cycling makes a positive contribution to the national economy and it is a cost-effective investment. It can help:
    • Reduce congestion;
    • Improve public health and save NHS money;
    • Create jobs;
    • Save employers money and improve productivity;
    • Inject money directly into the economy via the cycle trade;
    • Boost the vitality of town centres;
    • Deliver goods efficiently;
    • Lift house prices.
  • The Treasury should incentivise cycling through:
    • Adhering to the principle that 'the polluter pays' as the basis of taxation of transport users;
    • Maintaining a tax-free mileage rate that makes cycling on business financially worthwhile;
    • Supporting cycle commuting schemes that save businesses and employees tax (e.g. the ‘salary sacrifice’ Cycle to Work scheme);
    • Reducing VAT on cycle repairs;
    • Working with the European Union on changes to the VAT Directive that would encourage cycling (e.g. zero-rating cycles);
    • Maintaining its policy of not taxing cycles for the use of the roads.
  • Both national and local authorities should dedicate sufficient resources to smarter choices, recognising that they rely on revenue rather than capital funding.
  • Economics-focused bodies such as Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), regeneration agencies, developers and retailers should recognise the value of cycling and take action to promote and encourage it.
Download full campaigns briefing: 
Publication Date: 
March 2014
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