The head of the Chartered Institute for Logistics has called for a 25-year vision to deliver a ‘century of cycling’.
Peter Hendy CBE is president of CILT (Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport) and commissioner of Transport for London.
Hendy said that while Britain’s inclement weather can’t be changed, there was scope for ‘a systematic programme of relatively small and cost-effective measures that will deliver a step-change in cycling in this country over the next 25 years'.
He added the success of increasing cycling across the country by 20 per cent since 200 – and by 150 per cent in London – can be built on with a programme of measures:
1. Further improvements to cycle safety such as cycle lanes and traffic safety mirrors, cycle zones at traffic junctions;
2. Much more cycle training not only for cyclists – adults and children - but also PCV and HGV driver training to help reduce the 40 per cent of cycling accidents that involve a heavy goods or passenger carrying vehicle;
3. More cycle parking and easy to access journey/route planning information for cyclists;
4. Workplace and school travel planning to get the cycling culture ingrained into daily commuting and school runs;
5. Making cycling itself more attractive by improving its ‘reputation’, challenging misperceptions of ‘danger’, using more green spaces to make more attractive cycle ways to encourage people to use the bicycle for leisure and commuting;
6. Continuing with Sky Rides and similar schemes, not just in London but in local communities across the country to bring together experienced and novice cyclists to build up self-confidence;
7. More integration of cycling with other complementary modes including rail and bus.
Hendy delivered an impassioned speech to cycle experts, transport planners and policy-makers at the first CILT Cycling Lecture at London Underground’s HQ.
He said: “Cycling is a really quick, cheap, healthy and environmentally fantastic way of getting around – and it’s becoming increasingly safe and secure too. While we can’t change our damp climate or flatten the hills, we can develop a systematic programme of relatively small and cost-effective measures that will deliver a step-change in cycling in this country over the next 25 years. We could put Britain in the European fast lane on cycling and really make this the ‘Century of Cycling’.
“Cycling is on the rise and we need to push it to the forefront of transport provision, so that the real advances of recent years in London, and in some regional towns and cities, can fan out across the country.
“Britain is a cycle-owning nation but too many of them lie forgotten and unused in garden sheds or on balconies. We need to encourage people to cycle on local trips more of the time.”
Hendy also mentioned improving safety for cyclists as a factor in the growth of cycling. He said that since 1980 casualty rates have fallen from 60 per billion kilometres, to less than 25 today.
CILT has launched The Hub – an online portal designed to encourage cycling at www.ciltuk.org.uk/pages/cycling. The site is actually using key resources from the former Cycling England, a body axed by the Coalition Government.