I have just endorsed the Get Britain Cycling Petition created by Kaya Burgess, the Times Journalist who was spurned into action following the death of a colleague while cycling on London’s roads. The Petition calls on the Prime Minister to promote cycling as a helpful and affordable way to travel while consequentially, abetting the fight to tackle Britain’s obesity problem thus saving millions from NHS budgets. The promotion of cycling will not only boost the economy but will reduce congestion on our roads and trains. There are 18 recommendations proposed in the petition, amongst others, reallocating investment, safer road design, lower speed limits, better training and urging strong political leadership. The petition in its first few days has already garnered over 32,000 signatures. It is open for another year and I would encourage you to add your signature not only in the hope that this will happen in your lifetime but your children’s and for future generations. The signing and endorsing of this petition has the hope that it will create a lasting legacy.
It has to be commended what Boris Johnston has done for cycling within London but more needs to be done as there are still people being killed on London’s roads. There have been celebrity endorsements like Lord Sugar and Sir Chris Hoy and doubtless, more will follow.
The report that led to the Petition recommends the following:
- Create an annual cycling budget equivalent to £10 per head of population - an increase on the current spend of less than £2 per person.
- Fund cycling through health, education, sport and business budgets as well as transport budgets - recognising the contribution cycling makes to other sectors.
- Appoint a national Cycling Champion.
- Create a cross-departmental Cycling Action Plan with annual progress reports.
- Create a statutory requirement for all new housing, business and transport developments to consider the needs of cyclists and pedestrians during the planning stage.
- Extend 20mph zones in towns and consider 40mph limits on many rural lanes.
- Create cycle routes running alongside trunk road and motorway corridors.
- Limit the use of HGVs on busy urban streets at peak hours.
- Provide cycle training at all primary and secondary schools.
- Increase the proportion of journeys made by bike from 2 per cent in 2011 to 10 per cent in 2025 and 25 per cent by 2050.
Please add your voice to this campaign which will not only improve the life’s of those who chose to cycle but the others who will benefit from a healthier environment and hopefully, one day, an easing of pressure on the NHS.
It is encouraging that the Prime Minister, David Cameron has confirmed that we [The Government] should be doing a lot more in this country to encourage cycling which coincidentally was a pastime also actively encouraged by the Thatcher Government encouraging unemployed Miners to “get on their bike”!