Published: 21 September 2012
Report: Eddie Allen
As an active member of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group, British Cycling is looking forward to continuing to help shape the Group’s inquiry into cycle safety and cycling promotion.
Following the launch of the cross-party inquiry, the Government has promised to put into practice any innovative measures that emerge from its findings.
A panel of ten MPs from across the political spectrum will look at proposals that could achieve the aims of the British Cycling-endorsed ‘Cities Fit for Cycling’ campaign, which proposes a range of measures to help encourage cycling and make Britain’s roads safer for cyclists. British Cycling has been involved in scoping the inquiry and providing information on topics to be covered by it. British Cycling will remain engaged in the process and help ensure its effectiveness for cycling safety. The panel’s report has been funded by a £10,000 grant from The Times’ parent company, News International and will be published following inquiry hearings in autumn and the New Year.
The cross party panel will seek advice from expert witnesses on a range of cycle safety and cycling promotion issues which will include road layout, cyclist and driver training, road safety measures, local council engagement, integrated transport and the overarching need for political buy-in at the highest level.
The initiative is being led by British Cycling member Ian Austin MP and Julian Huppert MP, co-chairmen of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group. Both the MPs fully support British Cycling’s justice review campaign with British Cycling member, Mr Austin asking parliamentary questions to the government on the issue and Mr Huppert tabling the Early Day Motion that 51 MPs have now signed. Labour has also said that it would support the recommendations.
Launching the inquiry, British Cycling member, Mr Austin said: “The Times’ campaign has given cycling safety a higher priority than ever before and the stunning success by British cyclists this summer has more people interested in cycling. We want to use this inquiry to get all the political parties signed up to an action plan to create a better environment for cycling, make cycling safer and to get more people on their bikes.”
Also speaking to The Times Mr Huppert said: “This work is crucially important if we are to seriously promote cycling as a safe, viable means of transport and give it the investment it needs and which has been seriously lacking in the past.”
British Cycling’s Policy and Legal Affairs Director Martin Gibbs was quick to pledge the organisation’s full support for the inquiry: “We're looking forward to supporting and helping to shape the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group’s inquiry into cycling.
“From a sporting perspective we are a World leading cycling nation and we need joined-up Government action and political leadership to build on that success and make cycling available and appealing to everyone. Countries like Denmark and Holland have shown how this can be done.”
The inquiry follows Commons Transport Committee findings from earlier in 2012, which concluded that the Government lacked a cohesive plan to make cycling safer and suggested that transport ministers use The Times’ eight-point manifesto as a framework upon which to develop better provision for cycling.