The Cycling Embassy of Great Britain officially launches this Saturday (September 3rd) with a message that Britain should learn from experiences in the Netherlands and Denmark to bring about mass cycling in the UK.
The national cycle policy campaign group has been founded by a number of high profile cycle campaigners who want to see the design and implementation of high quality cycling infrastructure which separates cyclists from dense and fast-moving traffic.
Cycling Embassy of Great Britain founder and Chair, Jim Davis, said British people were sick of paying through the nose for public transport, or fuming in traffic congestion and wanted to ride bikes.
“They’d love an alternative means of transport but aren’t prepared to consider riding a bike because they are afraid; not of the act of actually riding but of riding on the conditions the UK’s roads currently present. We need only look across the North Sea for great examples of how to design streets for people with safe – and if necessary separate – cycling infrastructure which will lead to a much higher cycling rate than we currently have.”
Modal share for journeys by bicycle in the UK is currently just 2% whereas in the Netherlands 37% of all journeys are made by bike. In Copenhagen, Denmark, the city is aiming for 50% of all residents to commute to school or work by bike by 2015.
Appetite for cycling
“During the Mayor of London’s Sky Ride (this Sunday) some 100,000 people will take to two wheels to enjoy the best sights of the city on a circuit of roads closed to motor traffic. The appetite for space to ride apart from traffic is clearly demonstrable, it’s about time our town planners woke up to the 21st century and started providing it. Riding a bike shouldn’t just be for the fast and the brave; mums, dads, grandads and kids on bicycles should be allowed to feel safe, comfortable and confident too,” Mr Davis added.
The Cycling Embassy has launched a website containing latest news and a forum, and is developing a comprehensive online library of bicycle infrastructure design guidance from around the world which campaigners, councils and designers can access for free to ensure their cycling facilities are of the best standard.
The Cycling Embassy of Great Britain is marking its launch with a short ride across Lambeth Bridge from 11.30 onwards on Saturday.