Space for Cycling: the national campaign gets underway
Thousands of people are now contacting their councillors, urging them to enable people of all ages and backgrounds to get around safely, conveniently and enjoyably for any local journey.
The national Space for Cycling campaign is being coordinated by CTC, in conjunction with the Cyclenation federation of local campaign groups. It builds on the London-based Space for Cycling campaign created by the London Cycling Campaign (LCC), which is focussing on securing commitments to improve cycling conditions from local candidates in the run-up to the London borough elections.
The national campaign is adapting the LCC's campaign to the very different political situations in other parts of the UK, where most highway authorities do not have local elections in 2014. It funded by a generous grant from the cycle industry's Bike Hub fund, run by the Bicycle Association, and by individual donations.
Getting more people on bikes will mean better health, reduced congestion and lower emissions. With a public health crisis linked to physical inactivity rapidly rising up the political agenda, local councils have the opportunity to use cycling as a way of improving health.
Space for Cycling means creating safe conditions on major roads and junctions, lowering speed limits and reducing through motor traffic on residential streets.
Although 39% of people say that they could just as easily make a 2 mile car trip by bike as they do by car, yet only 2% of trips are actually made by bike and just one in ten people in cycle once a week or more.
67% of people say that they aren’t confident cycling on busy roads, with heavy, fast moving traffic and a lack of safe space for cycling the being the biggest barrier for most of us.
CTC President Jon Snow added, “Space for Cycling means creating safe conditions on major roads and junctions, lowering speed limits and reducing through motor traffic on residential streets. Some councils are now showing real enthusiasm for action to make cycling a safe and normal activity which everyone can benefit from. We now need a really strong show of public support for the long-term planning and funding that this will require.”
Councillors from around the country have already supported the campaign. Liberal Democrat leader of Portsmouth City Council, Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, and Vice-Chairman of the Local Government Association, said:
“Cycling provides huge benefits for our health and that of our streets and communities. Portsmouth has already done a lot to promote cycling, creating 20mph streets and a growing cycle network. Providing ‘Space for Cycling’ benefits everybody in our society, whether or not they choose to cycle themselves. I would urge cross-party support from councillors throughout the country for this campaign.”
The national campaign has also produced a map where people record examples of good and bad infrastructure.