Commitment to Cycling

Roger Geffen's picture

Notes from the LibDem conference fringe

Earlier this week I spoke at two fringe events at the LibDem conference. The first was also addressed by Julian Huppert MP, co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group, the second by cycling minister Norman Baker. Both set out their stall as highly impressive advocates for cycling.
LibDem logo

The first meeting was hosted by the Freight Transport Association (FTA) together with the Times newspaper and chaired by their transport correspondent Philip Pank, one of the journalists behind the paper's inspirational Cities fit for cycling campaign.

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Cherry Allan's picture

Health and cycling

Cycling is good exercise and it's easy to fit into the daily routiine. If more people took it up, it could help ward off the health crises facing the NHS...
Healthy cyclist
Headline Messages: 
  • Cycling is excellent exercise. More cycling will help more people meet the recommended physical activity guidelines, improve their physical and mental health and well-being, while reducing their risk of premature death and ill-health.
  • Cycling is far more likely to benefit an individual’s health than damage it; and the more cyclists there are, the safer cycling becomes – the ‘safety in numbers’ effect.
  • Cycling fits into daily routines better than many other forms of exercise, because it doubles up as transport to work, school or the shops etc. It’s easier than finding extra time to visit the gym and far less costly.
  • Lack of exercise can make people ill. It can lead to obesity, coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, cancers, type 2 diabetes and other life-threatening conditions.
  • Obesity in particular is a growing, costly burden to the health service. Without action, 60% of men, 50% of women and 25% of children will be obese by 2050 in the UK. 
  • CHD is the UK’s biggest killer – well over 90,000 people die of it each year with over 33% of these attributable to lack of physical activity.
  • Unlike driving, cycling causes negligible harm to others, either through road injuries or pollution, so it’s a healthy option not just for cyclists, but for everyone else too.
CTC View (formal statement of CTC's policy): 
  • Policy makers should recognise cycling as a healthy and convenient means of transport and recreation that could be incorporated into the ordinary day-to-day activity of millions of adults and children and so improve health and quality of life.
  • There is good evidence that cycling’s health benefits far outweigh the risks involved and that the more people who cycle, the safer it becomes – the ‘safety in numbers’ effect.
  • Cycling is also a benign mode of transport, causing negligible harm to others. Hence a switch from motorised travel to cycling would improve road safety for all by reducing road danger.
  • Public health and transport/planning policies, strategies and guidance, locally and nationally, should be mutually supportive in promoting and facilitating cycling as active travel; and they should clearly steer professionals towards cross-sector working. This will help tackle the serious, costly and growing crisis of physical inactivity and the health problems associated with it (e.g. obesity, heart disease etc).
  • Directors of Public Health (England) should take advantage of their return to local authorities to engage transport, town and spatial planning and other council departments (e.g. leisure and tourism) more closely in promoting cycling as active travel and recreation.
  • The NHS and its providers should actively promote cycling both to their own employees, to the people in their care, and to the general public; and they should invest in measures to support it (e.g. patient referral schemes, cycling facilities at sites as part of Travel Plans etc).
  • Transport and planning decisions should undergo a ‘health check’ to maximise the potential for positive impacts on active travel and minimise negative impacts. Tackling hostile road conditions is a priority because they put existing cyclists at risk and deter many others including children and young people.
  • Placing the onus solely on cyclists to protect themselves from injury does not tackle the risks they face at source. Health professionals should therefore remain cautious about cycle safety campaigns that focus on personal protective equipment.
Download full campaigns briefing: 
Publication Date: 
September 2012

Cycletopia

Cycletopia includes 15 real life examples of good schemes to promote cycling
CTC's Cycletopia is made up of real life examples of what can be done to make Britain's towns and cities more cycle friendly, combined in a single image.
Victoria Hazael's picture

Cycletopia – turning cycling dreams into reality

CTC, the national cycling charity has created ‘Cycletopia’ – an imaginary town made up of 15 real life examples in the UK of the best ways to promote, protect and inspire cycling.
Cycletopia includes 15 real life examples of good schemes to promote cycling

CTC Chief Executive Gordon Seabright said: “Great Britain proved this summer we have the best cyclists in the world. Now, we need to create towns and cities that are world class for cycling. There are already great things being done right here in the UK to improve cycling; they just need to happen across all our towns and cities. Cycletopia aims to help every local authority learn from what other places are doing to increase the numbers of cyclists and reduce traffic congestion.”

Contact Information: 

CTC Press Office
Email: publicity@ctc.org.uk
Telephone: 0844-736-8453

Notes to Editors: 

An interactive map of Cycletopia can be found on CTC’s website: http://beta.ctc.org.uk/cycletopia.

High resolution and detailed images of Cycletopia are also available from CTC Press Office.

Cycletopia is drawn by the cartoonist and cyclist Peter Welleman.

CTC, the national cycling charity, inspires and helps people to cycle and keep cycling.

We work to protect and promote cycling to create a healthier, cleaner world, now and for the future. We want the UK to be a place where it’s easy and safe for people of all ages to cycle, whatever their ability, background or income. We believe that cycling is more than just transport; it makes you feel good, gives you a sense of freedom and creates a better environment for everyone.

We encourage all types of cycling, on the road or off it.  We support you if you already ride, or would like to ride, to work or school, for health, touring, sport and leisure – or just because it’s fun.

We’ve been working for cycling for over a century. Nationally and locally, we use our knowledge to influence decision makers and help people discover how cycling can change lives.

• We provide expert, practical help and advice.
• We support individuals and communities.
• We protect cyclists’ interests.
• We campaign to make cycling mainstream and to remove the things that stop people cycling.
• We help people develop the confidence and skills to cycle.
• We promote the benefits of cycling to individuals, to society and to the economy.

CTC is an independent charity, and relies on 69,000 members, volunteers, grant funders and partners for support. Without them, we would not be able to do our vital work in communities inspiring hundreds of thousands of people across the UK to cycle.

 

Cherry Allan's picture

Climate change

Cycling is part of the solution for a low-carbon future...
Clouds
Headline Messages: 
  • Climate change threatens the future of our way of life and economy, as well as our health and the natural environment so greatly treasured by cyclists. There is little doubt amongst informed scientists that greenhouse emissions from human activity are already contributing to an increase in extreme weather events and loss of life around the world. To delay tackling climate change will be far more costly than acting now.
  • Cycling provided highly efficient transport before the adoption of carbon-intensive travel became widespread, and is part of the solution for a low-carbon future. It is one of the simplest lifestyle choices that individuals can make to reduce their carbon footprint. It also has huge benefits for their health, their wallets and their neighbourhoods.
  • Government bodies and businesses should act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transport, by encouraging cycling as a zero-carbon option and by reducing the need to travel.
CTC View (formal statement of CTC's policy): 
  • The imperative to halt and reverse the growth of greenhouse emissions should be the central aim of wider transport, planning and economic policies, locally, regionally and nationally. 
  • Cycling should be promoted as a zero-carbon transport option that can deliver worthwhile carbon savings, together with many other benefits, at very low cost.
  • National and local policy frameworks should aim to reduce the need to travel and promote cycling and other low-carbon alternatives to the car, and this should be a central objective for all relevant development agencies and local authorities.
  • Transport projects and development proposals that are predicted (or are likely) to increase greenhouse gas emissions should be rejected, and low-carbon alternatives developed instead.
  • The Government should oblige local authorities to make their contribution towards meeting the targets set by the Climate Change Act and progress should be reported and monitored effectively.  Voluntary action alone is not sufficient.
Download full campaigns briefing: 
Publication Date: 
August 2013
Roger Geffen's picture

EU-wide comparison shows GB has poor cycle use and cyclist safety, but we measure this superbly!

A new EU-wide comparison of cyclists' safety shows that Britain is among the top countries for measuring cycling . Now we need to make much better use of this information to substantially boost cycle use and improve cyclists' safety.
Cycle counter on the Camel Trail, Cornwall (photo CTC, © Dep't for Transport)

A few days ago I was welcoming new figures now being collected by the Government, through Sport England's Active People Survey, which shows levels of regular and occasional cycle use at a local level.

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Roger Geffen's picture

New figures on local cycle use are "a powerful tool for measuring progress"

CTC has welcomed new figures showing how much walking and cycling is being done regularly around England by adults. This data, now being collected thanks to CTC's campaigning, will soon prove invaluable for measuring which local authorities are successfully raising cycle use locally.
Commuters in London

Overall, 15% of adults in England cycled at least once a month. Rates were highest in the South East (18%) and lowest in the West Midlands (12%).

Contact Information: 

CTC Press Office
Email: publicity@ctc.org.uk
Telephone: 0844-736-8453

Notes to Editors: 

1. The new figures have been collected through Sport England's Active People Survey. Previously, this survey had specifically excluded cycling that was not sport or recreational cycling. The opportunity was therefore being missed to collect some vitally important data about levels of day-to-day cycle use (e.g. for work, school or shopping trips) via a survey large enough to allow comparisons to be made of cycle use at a local level.

This has now been rectified, thanks to CTC's campaigning. In future years, these data will prove invaluable for showing which authorities are proving successful in their efforts to boost cycle use locally.

2. Local authorities now have a new duty, under the Health and Social Care Act 2012, to take steps to improve the health of their populations. Meanwhile, recent Government guidelines on physical activity recommend that adults should undertake at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week. Regular cycling is one of the best ways to enable people to integrate regular physical activity into their day-to-day lives.

3. See also CTC's campaigns briefings on health and on local transport policies to promote cycling.

Anonymous's picture

CTC show off at the Bike Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace is home to the 11th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough and his family, and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. This year, it was home to a festival of cycling, and what a display it was!
CTC Anna at Bike Blenheim Palace 2012

The field in front of the palace was lined with stalls showcasing bicycles of all varieties and accessories of many purposes. Animal Bike tour offered a feast for the eyes performing tricks, stunts and somersaults on their bikes throughout the Saturday and a vintage bike carnival toured through the grounds on the Sunday. A favourite London and Bristol-based cycling café Look Mum No Hands supplied bacon baguettes and sumptuous cakes amongst tables of cycle-related posters, prints, caps and collectables.

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Gordon Seabright's picture

A golden legacy for cycling?

There’s a lot of talk at the moment about securing a legacy to follow the inspirational performances of Team GB’s cyclists at the Olympics. CTC is working hard to make sure that Britain seizes the opportunity.
GB Olympic cyclists. (Photo: Julie Anne Images)

Some of us have already noticed a difference when we’re out and about.  Is it my imagination, or are drivers giving me a little more space on the road, and showing a little more patience when they want to pass?  We know all about the “safety in numbers” effect – the most important thing the Games can do for us is to get more people out on their bikes, and we’ll all benefit from being more visible.  And when many people get back on their bikes they will alter the way they drive – hopefully for good.

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Anonymous's picture

Olympic Mountain Biking Display in Swindon

Saturday 11 August saw the Olympic Cross Country Mountain Bike race shown on the Big Screen in Swindon town centre. The BBC Live Site had displayed all 16 days of the Olympic Games, and when they asked me if I wanted to make “a thing” of mountain biking, of course I jumped at the chance.
Anna Cipullo takes on the 500m challenge

On the screen, the ladies of all nations battled it out for Olympic podiums, while on the ground local clubs battle for pride (and a modest medal) in the Watt Bike races.

This, together with the Games on screen, inspired many members of the public to get competitive and try their best to beat the times set out by local clubs. I was one of those attempting to get a good time in the 500 metres sprint, but as you can see from the photo, all I achieved was complete exhaustion and some legs made of jelly.

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  • Patron: Her Majesty The Queen
  • President: Jon Snow
  • Chief Executive: Paul Tuohy
  • Cyclists' Touring Club (CTC): A company limited by guarantee, registered in England no.25185. Registered as a charity in England and Wales No 1147607 and in Scotland No SC042541

 

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