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Cycling campaigner collects MBE and dedicates it to volunteers

“The MBE is an honour, but the battle for funding continues” says CTC’s Roger Geffen

Roger Geffen, campaigns and policy director at CTC, the national cycling charity, has collected an MBE for his services to cycling. However, he said the accolade should not be his alone and took the opportunity to pay tribute to the UK’s many cycling campaigners and volunteers.

Geffen was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen's Birthday Honours List. He was congratulated by British Cycling policy advisor Chris Boardman, who himself earned an MBE following his 1992 Olympic gold medal win.

“Roger is one of those people who MBEs were really made for – individuals who devote their lives to making the world a better place for the rest of us without any thought of recompense or recognition for themselves.

“He is a deeply committed individual who I have enormous respect for and in every dealing I have had with him, I’ve never been less than mesmerised by his encyclopaedia-like memory of cycling facts. He is a true hero and now, thankfully, not of the unsung variety.”

But Geffen, who swapped a career in classical music production for a life in cycle campaigning, said that he considered it a reward for a collective effort.

“From my time as a volunteer cycle campaigner, I’m still hugely conscious of the crucial role they play. Without our volunteers CTC wouldn’t exist in the form it does today,” he said, before paying tribute to those campaigning at a local level. “They are absolute heroes and I want to dedicate this honour to their efforts too.”

After reading music at Oxford University, Geffen spent the late Eighties combining his job in classical music production with work as a volunteer with the London Cycling Campaign. The M3 extension at Twyford Down near Winchester then saw him get involved in his first major road protest in 1992.

After taking a Masters Degree in Transport at London University, he worked for Oxfordshire County Council on walking and cycling policy and then in private consultancy, before joining CTC in 2002.

While admitting that he is humbled to be appointed an MBE, Geffen said that a bigger wish was for the government to find some serious funding for cycling. “Cycling is far better value for money than other forms of transport and produces proven benefits to health, environment and quality of life, as well as to local economies. The MBE is an honour, but the battle for funding continues.”

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