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Major political parties to present bike policies at Big Cycling Debate

How will the parties fulfil Infrastructure Bill mandate to fund cycling?

With the Infrastructure Bill almost certain to become law and including provision for cycling, how will the three main parties provide for cycling after the next election?

To find out, the UK Cycling Alliance - an umbrella group for campaigning organisations - is organising a debate with transport spokesmen from the Conservative, Liberal-Democrat and Labour parties in London on Monday, March 2 at 11:30, venue to be announced.

The Big Cycling Debate is billed as the first chance to hear the major parties' manifesto commitments and ambitions on cycling.

The debate will be chaired by John Humphrys of Radio 4's Today program and will feature Conservative Robert Goodwill MP, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport and 'Minister for Cycling' in the current Government; Liberal-Democrat Julian Huppert MP, co-chair of the All-Party Commons Committee on Cycling and vice chair of the party's Federal Policy Committee; and Richard Burden MP, Labour's shadow minister for transport.

The debate will be hosted by News UK, publisher of The Times newspaper which began its Cities Fit for Cycling campaign for better conditions for cyclists after journalist Mary Bowers was severely injured when she was hit by a lorry near the paper's offices in November 2011.

John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for Along with founder Tony Farrelly, John was on the launch team for and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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