What does the Embassy want?

In a nutshell, it wants our roads, towns, villages and cities to be designed in a way that they invite cycling (and walking too) rather than being designed around the needs of the car. If you look at what has been achieved in Germany and Sweden (10% of all trips by bike), Finland (11%), Denmark (18%), and particularly the Netherlands (27%)1, cycling has become a mass means of transport accessible to everybody, not something to do at the weekend.

Current standards for cycle infrastructure in the UK, whilst well meaning, are often misinterpreted by Local Authorities resulting in infrastructure which is often a cheap compromise shoehorned around a car-centric environment , rarely making cycling look inviting and often bringing cyclists into direct conflict with pedestrians and disability groups. It tells the public exactly what Government, local and national thinks of cycling.

  • 1. Figures quoted in Pucher et al (2008), ‘Making Cycling Irresistible: Lessons from The Netherlands, Denmark and Germany’, Transport Reviews, 28:4, 495 — 528, available at http://www.policy.rutgers.edu/faculty/pucher/Irresistible.pdf . Figures date from 2001-3 and may now be higher. By contrast, the UK figure (2001) was 1%.