Cycling goes to parliament next week as the country shows its support for the powerful "Cities Fit For Cycling" campaign launched by The Times two weeks ago (and welcomed by the Cycling Embassy here). On the afternoon of Thursday 23rd February, the issues raised by the campaign will be debated in parliament. And ahead of that debate, on the evening of Wednesday 22nd, cyclists will gather for a "flashride" past the Palace of Westminster, on one of the capital's least inviting roads for cycling — Parliament Square.
The debate has been scheduled in response to the thousands of messages that MPs have received from constituents in support of the Cities Fit For Cycling vision. If you have not yet contacted your MP about the campaign, you can do so through the Cities Fit For Cycling website. Specifically, MPs should be encouraged to sign the Early Day Motion in support of the campaign, which was tabled last week by All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group vice-chair Julian Huppert MP (Lib Dem, Cambridge), and also to attend the debate on Thursday — the more members who sign and attend, the more powerful the message sent to the front benches.
Wednesday evening's flashride has been organised independently, by Embassy friends Mark at ibikelondon and Danny at Cyclists in the City. It will meet at the Duke of York steps on The Mall ready for a 6:30pm depart to Parliament Square, over Lambeth Bridge, back over Westminster Bridge, and finally returning to The Mall via Whitehall. Although logistical support will be from the London Cycling Campaign, next week's ride aims to highlight the issues that are faced by bicycle users and would-be bicycle users throughout Britain, and also to make the point that "Cities Fit For Cycling" are cities that are better places for everybody, not just existing cyclists. Ambassadors of the Cycling Embassy from London and beyond will be joining our friends and colleagues and we encourage any bicycle users who can make it to Westminster next week to do so.
(Photograph: Tour Du Danger at Parliament Square by Mark Ames (cc by-nc-sa).)