Space for Cycling is going on tour – first stop, Cambridge!

Celebrating the opening of the Cambridge Guided Busway. Geograph, Keith Edkins.

Space for Cycling is going on tour – first stop, Cambridge!

On 22 October, Space for Cycling will kick off its roadshow in Cambridge at the Ross Street Community Centre. Known as 'the City of Cycling', Cambridge is an apt place to start.

It has been over two years since Cycling UK first launched the national Space for Cycling campaign, with the ambitious aim of transforming Britain's roads to create the conditions where anyone can cycle anywhere.

Over the course of the autumn and winter, the campaign will be hitting ten locations across the country, to galvanise support and develop a coherent, coordinated national strategy. Please, find an event near you and come along!

Known as 'The City of Cycling', 1 in 5 journeys in Cambridge are made by bike – the highest level in the UK. Moreover, it was researchers at Cambridge University who found that creating safe Space for Cycling is the single most effective way of increasing cycle use.

It seems apt then, to kick-off our Space for Cycling Roadshow in Cambridge. A city highly regarded for its cycle-friendly streets and culture of cycling – a city that gets Space for Cycling.  

Cambridge is well-known as a trailblazer for cycling, but many other areas in the UK are trailing behind. If we really want to kick-start a step-change in cycling use across the entire country, we need to see sustained investment in infrastructure."

Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge and Labour Spokesman for Cycling

The day will aim to galvanise new support for the campaign by looking at how to start a campaign, how to rally public and political support and how to plan a network. And who better to learn from than the experts at Camcycle – the Cambridge Cycling Campaign – who tirelessly work to keep Cambridge at the forefront of cycling in the UK.  

For those of you who are already avid campaigners, we will explore some elements of campaigning in much greater depth – such as the various online tools available to assist your campaign like the Propensity to Cycle Tool, Cyclescape and the Cycle Environment Assessment Tool.

Cambridge simply could not function without high levels of cycling - over a third of trips for work or education are by bike. But this hasn’t happened by accident - it has taken years of hard work and campaigning, and there is far more still to do."

Julian Huppert, former Liberal Democrat MP for Cambridge

To kick-start the day, the current and the former Cambridge MPs will put aside their political differences to promote Space for Cycling.

Daniel Zeichner, Cambridge’s current Labour MP, is the Labour party spokesman for cycling and Shadow Transport Minister. As a keen cyclist, he recognises that top quality Space for Cycling must be a priority and that party political lines must be worked across to achieve it:

“Cambridge is well-known as a trailblazer for cycling, but many other areas in the UK are trailing behind. If we really want to kick-start a step-change in cycling use across the entire country – improving the nation’s health and easing congestion to boot - we need to see sustained investment in infrastructure.

“Debates on cycling are always popular in Parliament, as MPs from different parties come together to discuss the benefits of cycling and the barriers to its growth as a mode of transport. I’ll keep working with those MPs to get people of all backgrounds on their bikes, and make cycling the number one choice for everyday journeys.”

Former Liberal Democrat MP, Julian Huppert, and former co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group, is also keen to highlight the need for parties to come together – but also emphasises the important role of campaigners:

“Cambridge simply could not function without high levels of cycling - over a third of trips for work or education are by bike. But this hasn’t happened by accident - it has taken years of hard work and campaigning, and there is far more still to do.

“It’s really important to get people from all political parties committed to real support for cycling - that was the point of the ‘Get Britain Cycling’ inquiry and report I led. If we can get everyone to commit to that, we will make huge progress”.

Although led by Cycling UK, the campaign is reliant on the implementation and input of local campaigners. Whether an avid activist or tentative cyclists, we need your help. If you live or happen to be in the East of England on 22 October 2016, please register your interest and come along! And if you are elsewhere in the UK, please register for an event near you.

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