Cycle Campaigners call on Nick Clegg to get the country moving

The Cycling Embassy of Great Britain are calling on the Deputy Prime Minister to invest in cycling infrastructure if he wants to get the economy - and the country - moving. Noting that the Liberal Democrat leader is himself half Dutch, they have responded to his announcement that the Coalition Government is planning to increase state-backed investment in infrastructure with a plea for Dutch-style bike lanes rather than more roads. 

In an open letter, they point out that the Dutch took a different path in the seventies and invested in cycling as a practical and attractive mode of transport which has produced not just benefits to cyclists but to car drivers too. Transferring just 10% of short trips from cars to bikes can cut journey times by up to a fifth - whereas building more roads ultimately results in more congestion, not less, which is costly to the economy as well as the environment.

Jim Davis, Chair of the Cycling Embassy said, 'it's well understood by now that building more roads just increases the amount of traffic in the medium term. It's also well understood that building really high-quality cycling infrastructure increases the amount of journeys by bike, as demonstrated overseas. Investing in quality cycling infrastructure would bring massive benefits to the economy - not only does congestion and pollution go down, but more people on bicycles makes us healthier, happier and safer to boot. Nick Clegg must know from his own experience what a world class cycling network looks like. But we'd like him to invite his colleagues to take a study tour of the Netherlands before they waste any more money on infrastructure that makes things worse, not better.'


Notes to Editors

The Cycling Embassy of Great Britain was formed in January 2011 to campaign for decent cycling infrastructure in the United Kingdom. It seeks to represent everyone who wants to use their bike for transport whether they're an existing cyclist now or not. 

The European Cyclists' Federation manifesto cites research which shows 3% of GDP is wasted on traffic congestion in OECD countries - and that shifting 10% of traffic from cars to bikes could reduce travel time by up to a fifth. Research in Norway has shown that no transport investment offers better benefit/cost ratios than building complete cycling and walking networks.

The Cycling Embassy of Great Britain proudly supports The Times Cities Safe for Cycling and London Cycling Campaign's 'Love London, Go Dutch'


Press officer Mark Treasure

Chair: Jim Davis 07545 598998