Archive Document: Page Text for CEGB Book


[Short manifesto excerpt to open]

Chapter: "Great Britain does Great Cycling".

British cyclists are the best in the world [blah blah blah]

Chapter: Britons love to cycle

"It's no exaggeration to say that people in Britain love to cycle. Time and agan, when given the opportunity, they come out in their thousands to enjoy roads cleared of motorised traffic, bringing their children, and even their pets.

"Once upon a time, getting on a bicycle was an obvious transport choice for Britons of all ages - in the same way that they now get in a car.

‘British entrepreneurs were among the first to realise the potential of the bicycle, from diamond-frame guy to [see ‘it’s all about the bike’], Britain has been home not only to people interested in the business of cycling, but vast numbers of people keen to get on their bikes, whether for practical reasons, or for leisure."

Chapter: “Paint on the road is not infrastructure” (from "We believe that people choose to cycle when they feel safe to do so. Countries across Europe have shown that you can't have mass cycling without the infrastructure to support it..."

Chapter: “Cycling is good for the economy”

“Bicycles are good for your local economy: numerous studies show that shoppers arriving by bicycle spend less per visit, but visit more than enough to spend more overall. And a built environment for bicycles and pedestrians is more pleasant, too.”
People stay when shopping / people shop local / environment people cycle around in is cleaner / more social

Chapter: Why don’t people cycle?
Pages: “It’s too scary”. “It’s too dangerous”. Other reasons? (I need to dress up to do so? Could be the comedy one …

“Survey after survey, across the UK, shows that many people are put off cycling because they perceive it to be dangerous. Worse still, these respondents, when they have families, won’t encourage their children to cycle, because they quite reasonably believe that, if the roads are dangerous for adults, they’re doubly so for children.

“And who would want to encourage a child of 8 to share a road with vehicles of up to 42 tons thundering along behind them? Our quixotic approach to safety rules that no-one may cycle on pavements which are not appropriately labelled as shared use, whether they’re 7, 27 or 77. Although the police almost never prosecute or fine children using pavements for cycling, why should we rely on the good will of police officers for what should be a basic right?”

Chapter: “Starting them young”
‘In Britain x% of journeys to school are made by car, and yet on average children only live x metres from the school gate. In the Netherlands, x% of children go to school by bicycle.

In the UK, the car is king when it comes to getting to school. Both because of generalised concerns around safety, and because so many parents need to then drive to work, because they believe this is their only viable transport option, we ensure that roads across the country become gridlocked morning and evening, every day during term time.

Chapter: “Everyone thinks it’s a good idea”
 ‘From the Prime Minister downwards, we think cycling is a good thing – isn’t it time we acted on it?’ Presuming we can find good quotes – especially via #cyclesafe – from lots of ‘important’ people, emphasising how they think cycling is a good thing. They can be vague quotes – point is to have them being positive about cycling.”

Chapter: “Cycling is good for you.”

“Most people struggle to fit any form of exercise into their day. A half hour commute on a bicycle would given the average Briton five hours a week of exercise at a time when the country is getting fatter and fatter.
It’s not a surprise that the incidence of health-related conditions like type [x] diabetes, obesity, and heart conditions can be directly linked to the decline in cycling in the UK. Countries where cycling is an integral part of day-to-day activities – where people use their bike to get from A to B – have significantly lower numbers with such conditions, as well as overall better figures for life expectancy and general health. 

Chapter: “But where do we put it all?”

 “Britain has many beautiful public spaces, with endless opportunities to access them with bike-friendly infrastructure, or to use them to make cycling safer.”

Chapter: ‘You don’t have to be a cyclist to use a bicycle’
Notes: Possibly controversial, but is there any link between pedalcabs and injuries and car-cabs and injuries? (Could somehow show that – perhaps – per journey, there’s fewer emissions, and there’s no change in safety. 

Chapter: “People who love cars love bicycles”

Even motoring organisations think more cycling is a good thing’. AA quote ( and others.

Chapter: “Cycling is good for the environment”

‘Improving cycling levels could drastically improve the UK’s carbon footprint. Not only would we be reducing reliance on increasingly hard to extract fossil fuels, but we would be able to make much the same journeys, in the same frequency, with very little carbon cost or emission generation’

Chapter: “Our car habit is killing us.”

 ‘In 1956, London got the Clean Air Act. ( It followed the preventable deaths of thousands of Londoners. Now, up to 13,000 Britons a year die prematurely from exhaust-related emissions ( Getting more people on their bikes improves the life chances of anyone affected by pollution’

Chapter: “Mummy and Daddy used to cycle to school every day!”

Across the UK, hundreds of schools are a stones’ throw away from roads with more than 10,000 vehicle movements per day. Many of these children are already driven to school because their parents worry for their safety. Now, as they run around in the playground, their lungs are working overtime to deal with the poor air quality they experience.

Chapter: “Traffic isn’t a good thing for you.”

Town with the longest lived residents all have lower levels of traffic and better air quality (, whilst the opposite is true of those where life expectancy is lowest.’

Chapter: “The last bastion of sexism?”

Women don’t like cycling:

Chapter: “Let’s get started”

Text: We believe that, to get Britain cycling, good infrastructure must be provided, in the same way that good infrastructure did such a good job getting Britons into their cars and, in some of our bigger cities, onto public transport. 

Good infrastructure: makes cycling a safe choice; makes it the obvious choice; provides a safer realm for both cycling and walking; discourages the attitude that the car is king of our urban spaces; enforces priority for vulnerable transport users over cars, and lorries.