In The Saddle: Julian Huppert, MP and co-chair of the APPCG

All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group member talks bikes and outlines his vision for city cycling
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What bikes do you own?
I have two Trek T30s; One for cycling around Cambridge and the other for London. They both have baskets, pannier racks and built-in chain guards, and are great utility bikes, while also being able to do longer distance rides, like the Peddars Way. I also have a Trek 1.7, for longer distances – I’ve used it around the UK, from Cornwall to Scotland. Possibly the best ride was cycling to the northern tip of Scotland.

What’s your dream vision for city cycling in the UK?
I want it to be normal. It should just be a typical way to get around, used by many people on a regular basis for work, school, shopping and leisure.

And in the short term, what can be done to improve safety, air quality and the enjoyment of cycling?
Getting more people to cycle is the key, it improves safety for all. Providing appropriate infrastructure, in terms of road space, cycle parking, and showers at work all makes it easier.

What role does the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group play in achieving the goals?
It makes sure these issues are constantly brought to the attention of Ministers and builds interest and knowledge in parliament. It also makes people see that MPs ride bikes too.

What can be done to get those in the corridors of power onto greener transport?
Some are already there – Norman Baker, the Minister for Cycling, now has a Ministerial Brompton to get between his department and the House of Commons, and a number of other Ministers also cycle, such as the Leader of the House, Sir George Young, and the Rail Minister, Theresa Villiers. But too many Ministers and civil servants still default to the private car whenever they have the chance.

What can the bicycle trade do to influence decision makers on transport and infrastructure?
Support the All-Party Group! There is an important role to play in meeting up constructively with decision makers at central and local levels, and providing expertise to those who are already interested, and initial steps of support. For example, to try riding a bike, for those who aren't used to it.

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