For about 4 hours on 2 September 2013, about 100 MPs debated the actions needed to get more people in Britain to choose to cycle for everyday outings – that is, utilitarian cycling, as contrasted with sport cycling (although that too was encouraged).
The debate arose out of the recommendations found in the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group‘s report ‘Get Britain Cycling‘.
Everyone – irregardless of which vehicle chosen – can benefit from the recommendations: people who use a wheelchair, drive, walk, cycle, hop, skip and jump. Everyone benefits from safer infrastructure that gives people a choice in how they get around.
Many MPs also commented on the joy of cycling – none more eloquently than Dr Sarah Wollaston MP. Indeed even the protesters on bicycles cycling outside in the London Cycle Campaign’s #Space4Cycling peaceful protest ride were have a joyful time: see zefrog’s photos HERE for some stunning shots of the fun.
What’s next? Together, we must hold MPs to account for implementing the recommendations – especially to influence the Department for Transport who opposed them – and to ask local councils around the nation to also adopt the recommendations of the report.
Please write to your local councillors! and your MP! This is so very important. Most have email addresses, which makes getting in contact pretty quick and easy.
UPDATE No.1: Just a couple days after the debate, the Mayor of London and the UK’s Department for Transport announced plans to require that safety devices be installed in high goods vehicles (HGVs). See HERE
UPDATE No.2: On the same day as the Mayor of London’s announcement, tragically, a woman in her 30s was killed by a lorry. RIP. See HERE. In the past, the London Cycling Campaign has organised protest rides each time a person who has chosen to ride a bicycle has been killed by a lorry.
A round-up of the various articles about the debate can be found HERE.