Get Britian Cycling - Summary and Recommendations

All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group
Publication date: 
April 2013
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Too many people in the UK feel they have no choice but to travel in ways that are dangerous, unhealthy, polluting and costly, not just to their own wallets but also to the public purse. Urgent action is required to address Britain’s chronic levels of obesity, heart disease, air pollution and congestion if we are to catch up with other countries in the developed world.

There is an alternative. When more people cycle or walk, public health improves, obesity reduces and roads become safer. By changing how people travel, we can create places where people want to live, work, shop and do business. We can make people healthier, happier and wealthier. We can reduce costs to our NHS.

To realise the full potential of this vision will require a fundamental cultural shift in how we think about the way we travel. Cycling needs to be not just a personal option, when we decide how to travel for work, school or leisure. It should be a core issue when planning our streets, roads, buildings and communities.

 We need to train cyclists and drivers alike to travel legally and safely.

Above all, we need a bold vision from government that puts people first. We need those strolling the corridors in Westminster, throughout Whitehall departments and in town halls around the UK to recognise the powerful case for substantial investment in cycling, and the huge benefits this would deliver for town and countryside alike.

The demand is there. The Olympics and Tour de France helped cycling catch the public’s attention in 2012. The Times’ Cities Fit for Cycling campaign has captured the public imagination; a Parliamentary debate on cycling last year galvanised extraordinary cross-party support; and the evidence presented at this inquiry has shown a remarkable degree of consensus among cycling organisations, local authorities,
health professionals and others about what needs to be done.

Yet massive and unnecessary barriers are preventing us from capitalising on this enthusiasm. A window of opportunity is open, but not forever: as memories of sporting success fade and the frustration of limited opportunities continue, we are in danger of squandering the Olympic legacy and failing to create a healthier, more active UK.

This generation of politicians has the chance to be long remembered for having a vision for cycling that includes us all. Put simply, Britain needs to re-learn how to cycle. This report sets out how this can be done.