Just a week after it was launched by The Times, the petition urging Prime Minister David Cameron to endorse the recommendations of the Get Britain Cycling report is already nearly halfway to hitting the 100,000 signatures that would make it eligible to be considered for debate in Parliament.
National Cyclists’ organisation CTC is urging people to sign the petition to help ensure the proposed Office for Active Travel stands a chance of securing a £1 billion budget in next month’s Comprehensive Spending Review.
Currently, the petition, which has the support of organisations including the AA, British Cycling, CTC and Sustrans, has more than 42,000 signatures.
The Times reports that they have been joined by leading figures from the worlds of business and sport including entrepreneurs Sir Richard Branson and Lord Sugar, former Arsenal and England footballer Lee Dixon, and Britain’s most successful Olympian and Paralympian, respectively Sir Chris Hoy and Dame Sarah Storey.
The petition, which The Times reports has been the most heavily backed one on the government’s e-petitions website during the past week, reads:
“We the undersigned call on the Prime Minister to pledge that the Government will implement the recommendations in the ‘Get Britain Cycling’ parliamentary report.
“This will require cross-departmental consensus led from the Cabinet Office and Downing Street, not just from the Department for Transport.
“In the Commons on February 22, 2012, the Prime Minister said of The Times’s ‘Cities Fit for Cycling’ campaign: ‘If we want to encourage the growth in cycling we’ve seen in recent years, we need to get behind campaigns like this.’
“Now is the time to act on those words.”
In a comment to a story on trade website BikeBiz about developments regarding the possible setting up of an Office for Active Travel, CTC Policy and Campaigns Director Roger Geffen – who says that the latest news is it may not actually go by the name – issued an appeal for as many people as possible to sign the petition.
“Inter-departmental and cabinet-level negotiations over the Comprehensive Spending Review are now underway, with the announcement due on 26th June (i.e. not very far away!),” he wrote.
“It is by no means certain that the £1bn figure will come out at the other end of the process...
“The best thing that Bike-Biz readers and others can to do help secure the £1bn is to sign the online 'Get Britain Cycling' petition - and encourage all your friends / customers / other networks to do likewise.
“It's well on the way to the target of 100,000 signatures, that would help ensure a parliamentary debate - this needs to happen ASAP!! http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/49196
“In short, PLEASE GET SIGNING, and SPREAD THE WORD LIKE CRAZY!,” he added.
We’re spreading the word here and through Facebook and Twitter, and we’d encourage all road.cc users to do likewise.
You can find the petition here.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.