Prime Minister Backs Cycle Campaign

February 10th, 2012 by WitneyBUG Leave a reply »

The Times Cities fit for cycling David Cameron endorsed the ‘Cities fit for cycling’ campaign this week saying, “As a keen cyclist, I congratulate The Times for drawing attention to this issue. We want to encourage cycling as a cheaper, greener, more healthy way of getting from place to place, and making people feel safe cycling on the roads is crucial to that.”

WitneyBUG has pledged its support to the campaign and the 8-point manifesto. We urge you to do so too by following this link to complete step 1. Do step 2 if you’re on Twitter or Facebook. Forget about step 3, your MP is already signed up.

So why does The Times give a damn about cycling all of a sudden? Is it something to do with the 2012 Olympics? The people best placed to tell you about that are the colleague of a young journalist, and her editor. I can vouch that when a loved one is hit and injured, out of the blue just going from place to place, it makes one think long and hard about road safety.

People aren’t stupid. They regularly say to me “you must be mad!” and with good reason. The vast majority of people aren’t ‘keen cyclists’ and recognise that vying for space with large powerful machines, to get to work or to the shops, puts them at risk. This campaign recognises that and aims to do something about it. And it’s not just about cities.

There is a great opportunity on the horizon to begin making our town safer. To arrange things so that more kids can cycle to school themselves and parents feel secure in letting them do so. Whatever the outcome of the Cogges Link Road inquiry, Witney will undergo ‘complementary measures’ within the town to encourage traffic to use the alternative. By including measures that make Witney a town fit for cycling, it will free up parking spaces, reduce congestion, and improve the health and wellbeing of the town.

Making 20mph the default speed limit in residential areas where there is no cycle infrastructure is part of The Times 8-point manifesto and is supported by the AA. Oxfordshire County Council has been one of the leaders in introducing 20mph limits, doing so in Oxford before there was support from motoring organisations. Where it makes sense, Witney deserves it too. Where it doesn’t, space for cycling needs to be found.

You can read all the articles related to the campaign because The Times hasn’t put them behind its paywall. I’ll leave you with today’s opinion piece. It’s pleasing that bike users are finally moving out of the gutter, but clambering over vegetarians and Liberal Democrats to do it? Less so. Mostly…

Listen dimwits: blaming cyclists doesn’t help.

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