An Embassy, free from the burden of history, legacy and ties, created to work in partnership with fellow organisations and charities in Great Britain, mainland Europe and around the World trading ideas and experiences in how to promote cycling and make cycling infrastructure work in urban and rural contexts.
We, the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain represent everyone, young or old, fit or not, who wishes to use their bike – and by bike we mean any form of cycle including tricycles, handcycles, recumbents, cargo bikes or tandems – as transport. We believe that everyone – be they five or ninety-five – should have the freedom to go about their business by bike without fear or harassment.
We believe that Britain’s planning and transport policies to date have served to confine cycling only to the quick and the brave, leaving the rest of us behind. Promoting cycling without tackling this will not raise cycling levels significantly.
We believe that current rates of cycling in this country are too low, that targets to increase them are miserably un-ambitious and that a decent rate of cycling should be nearer 30 or 40% of all journeys
We believe that this can only be achieved by the provision of dedicated safe cycle infrastructure, in line with the best practice found around the world.
And finally, we believe that this is worth it, because we believe that cycling can contribute to making Britain a less congested, fitter, leaner, greener cleaner, quieter and above all happier place.
Redefine what road safety means in the UK by working with relevant groups, including other cycle campaigns, to highlight what the real dangers are, promoting prevention rather than cure. We will promote a raft of measures, including reduced speed limits and changes in street design, which put the needs of local communities before those just travelling through them. We will strive to create an environment where helmets and other forms of protective wear are seen as unnecessary as opposed to essential.
Lobby relevant government departments to remind them that cycling is a solution to the reduction of transport congestion, noise pollution, carbon emissions, deaths and serious injuries on our roads, obesity and illnesses from more sedentary lifestyles, stress and expense and that exhortation and training alone is not enough to get people cycling in sufficient numbers to achieve these ends. In particular we would remind the Department for Transport that ‘Sustainable Transport’ means walking, cycling and public transport, and that its budget will be most effectively spent promoting them rather than widening or extending Britain’s roads.
Gather and disseminate information about the best practice in design and transport around the world to promote safe and healthy cycling for people of all ages and all abilities, particularly those using their bikes for transport not sport. We will work with local authorities and relevant parties to make sure that the Cycling Infrastructure Design Standards in the UK reflect this best practice and that they are treated as minimum standards, not unreachable aspirations.
Investigate the state of cycling infrastructure in our own areas, and work with local authorities to bring them up to standard.
Support better communication and exchange of knowledge and ideas between politicians, architects, transport planners, designers & engineers as to how to get more people cycling and walking, improving access for all to town & city centres and transport interchanges.
Develop relations with employers to promote the ways that cycling can produce a fitter, healthier, happier workforce – saving billions in sick days – and encouraging them to throw their weight behind cycling and walking in their communities.
Challenge anything that raises barriers to cycling unnecessarily, be it licensing schemes, scaremongering campaigns or poor road or transport design. Ensure that every British child grows up knowing how to ride a bike and able to ride it independently and safely in their neighbourhood. In short, our aim is to make riding a bike as easy as riding a bike.
Primarily our aim is for well-designed and properly implemented dedicated bike infrastructure, to encourage everyone to ride. We want cycling to be the quickest, most direct way to get to our shops, workplaces and schools and for cycle routes to be integrated with longer-distance transport like trains and buses. This will mean freeing up space for both pedestrians and bikes, in our towns and along our major routes, opening up travel choices to the whole population not just the few. We believe that this will bring about nothing less than a transformation of our society.