Cycling has finally edged its way up the political agenda, with an All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group (APPCG) holding a six-week inquiry earlier this year that culminated in the publication of the Get Britain Cycling report - but there's more work to be done.
The report has secured a debate in the House of Commons on 2 September 2013, thanks to lobbying by Dr Huppert, MP for Cambridge and the support of 700,000 people who signed a petition demanding a debate.
But - and this is a big but - the debate will only be effective if there is a decent turnout of MPs in the chamber to debate the report, which recommends such measures as:
• 10 per cent of all journeys to be made by bicycle by bicycle by 2025 rising to 25 per cent by 2050
• Government funding for cycling should start at a minimum of £10 per head
• Cycling should be considered at an earlier stage in all planning decisions, whether transport schemes or new houses or businesses
• More use should be made of segregated cycle lanes, learning from the Dutch experience
• Urban speed limits should generally be reduced to 20 mph
• Just as children learn to swim at school, they should learn to ride a bike
• The Government should produce a detailed cross-departmental Cycling Action Plan, with annual progress reports.
This is the current text of the motion to be debated on 2 September 2013:
"That this House supports the recommendations of the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group's report 'Get Britain Cycling'; endorses the target of 10 per cent of all journeys being by bike by 2025, and 25 per cent by 2050; and calls on the Government to show strong political leadership, including an annual Cycling Action Plan and sustained funding for cycling."
British Cycling is encouraging members and supporters alike to write to their MP to encourage them to take an active part in the debate.
Use the downloadable template letter to add your voice, plus include details of local problems or your own concerns about cycling, to encourage them to become involved in your local area's needs.
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.