For me, creating space for cycling means:
- Creating segregated bicycle routes along scary roads – especially ones used by lorries*
- Creating suitable, secure bicycle parking near places people want to go; and on public transport
- Creating plans and policies which include the normal use of bicycles in our daily lives
These are 3 simple points – which can be easily communicated to the general public – that would radically change the living, working and travel spaces around us.
Different campaign groups around the UK have localised what the phrase means to them, tailored it to be strong for the situations they have on the ground, and the councillors they are pushing for change from. For the latest on that, see Space For Cycling.
The last item, plans and policies, means ensuring road designs or redesigns by governments include appropriate cycling infrastructure, and, at a local level, that your event, activity or design actively supports and keeps safe people who choose to cycle.
Does a new housing estate have proper, joined-up bicycle routes?
Has 20mph been adopted in residental areas?
Are there safe routes for children to get to school by bicycle?
Does a music festival provide secure bicycle parking and prioritises activities which will see people choose to cycle, rather than drive to the venue?
Are businesses on our High Street supported with appropriate infrastructure to encourage people to shop by bicycle?
Do police, school or government sponsored safety campaigns present accurate messages?
Do road repairs and construction sites include the safe diversion – with minimal inconvenience – of people who cycle in the area?
Many reports’ recommendations, like those in ‘Get Britain Cycling‘ and ‘CycleON’ nicely fit into the 3 points above.
Further motivation can be found in this separate article: Why we need space for cycling (UK based but the reasoning is universal).
*In London, the mayor is being asked to honour his commitment to implement the Love London, Go Dutch standards of comfort and safety; People are applying repeated pressure through #space4cycling protest rides, organised by the London Cycling Campaign, each time a person on a bicycle is killed – contact info about that is on their website: click HERE. Creating safer routes is universal, as many towns and cities – including rural roads – can be made safer.