A video produced by British Cycling says “Britain is becoming a cycling nation …” but much more needs to be done in order to make cycling a safe, everyday choice for millions. The organisation is changing its #choosecycling inititative from a network of cycle-friendly businesses to a wider-ranging campaign that can involve local authorities and other bodies. British Cycling has created a three-point "Choose Cycling Charter" after 20,000 of its members gave their opinions on which issues should be prioritised in order to make cycling in Britain easier, safer and more appealing.
The Charter states that strong political leadership, smart investment – working towards 5 percent of public sector transport spend – and a programme to deliver networks of cycling infrastructure, built to agreed standards will encourage more people to cycle.
British Cycling’s #ChooseCycling network of businesses, which collectively employ more than half a million people, endorsed the Charter at its most recent meeting.
British Cycling’s campaign manager, Martin Key, said:
“In recent years, we have undoubtedly made great strides in turning Britain into a true cycling nation. However, millions of Brits still don’t consider cycling to be a viable transport option for them or their children, thanks in part to the fact that our towns and cities do not accommodate cycling.
“Given how cycling can help alleviate so many societal problems – the obesity crisis and a rise in conditions such as type 2 diabetes, traffic congestion, air pollution – this is unacceptable. Put simply, our current transport structure is failing our citizens.
“This can change, though. We are giving local authorities the chance to sign up to this charter and deliver on measures which will lead to healthier and more prosperous communities. There are no logical arguments against these aims.”
Jody Cundy, one of Britain’s most experienced Paralympians, who will be competing in Rio later this summer, added:
“Better cycle access would mean that people who aren’t as confident on the roads – for instance those with disabilities who aren’t as stable on a bike – would feel more comfortable in a bike lane because they won’t be competing with traffic.
“If there was a better infrastructure, especially in town and cities where people want to commute, it would make life a lot easier and a lot better. Choosing cycling and moving forward in this way is certainly a good thing.”
British Cycling’s #ChooseCycling Network was launched in March 2015.