In November BikeBiz executive editor Carlton Reid will be giving a history talk in parliament, an event jointly hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary Motor Group and the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group. This will be the first time an event has been organised jointly by the two groups.
Reid’s invite-only talk will be on November 19th and will reveal the parliamentary views on motoring prior to 1905, when motoring was not yet well established and when one MP called motor cars "stinking engines of inquity."
One of the earliest and staunchest champions of motoring in parliament was John Scott-Montagu, the Tory MP for the New Forest who later became the 2nd Baron Montagu of Beaulieu. In 1903 he argued that motorists simply wanted to exercise the same rights as other citizens, and had no desire to “monopolise” the roads: “[Motorists] only wish to be included as part of the public who have the right to use the roads … No motorist has ever expressed a wish to monopolise the highways.”
Scott-Montagu is known as the first MP to drive a motor car to parliament, but in the 1890s he had been noted for cycling to parliament.
In his new book, Roads Were Not Built For Cars, Reid argues that motorists and cyclists share a close and intimate history and they are not, as is often portrayed today, "two tribes."
Over the weekend the multimedia iPad version of Roads Were Not Built For Cars reached number one in the history category on iTunes.
The secretariat for the All-Party Parliamentary Motor Group is funded by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, Motorsport Industry Association and the RAC Foundation. The secretariat of the APPCG is funded by the UK Cycling Alliance, which is made up of CTC, British Cycling, Sustrans, London Cycling Campaign, the Bicycle Association, and Cyclenation.