Monday, September 13, 2010

Bikeability and Cycle England

In today's edition of the Cambridge News is a news piece about cutting some funding to some cycling projects, the link is here

I was the lead member for many things on the County Council and I was very pleased to be the lead member for cycling and cycling infrastructure. Over the years lots of well meaning bits of infrastructure have been put into Cambridge, but the end result is all too often not particularly cycling friendly. I made it my mission to ensure this was to stop. We made a bid to Government for Cycling Town status and was awarded a rather large chunk of money to improve cycling in and around Cambridge. I am pictured here accepting the plaque and about to set out on a tour of Cambridge, with representatives from Cycling England. Cambridge Cycling Campaign wrote a very good piece at

So because of that work I did, I am really sorry to see that the first cut suggested is to Bikeability, which as the article,, says is the new modern version of the Cycling proficiency test. Cutting this funding is not a good idea at all. The funding provides necessary training for 1000's of young people on how to cycle safely and with confidence on the roads. The Cambridge Cycling Campaign have written to Ministers already regarding this issue, and you can find the letter at I simply cannot support this cut. We owe it to our youth to educate them on cycling. I did my cycling proficiency when I was at Primary School, a number of years ago now, but it really stood me in good stead. It taught me about signs, safety and gave me the confidence to cycle on the roads. Judging by the battle of words on the Cambridge News website between drivers and cyclists, we could do with more cycle awareness training, for cyclists and drivers alike, not less.

The other cut is very sad indeed, Cycling England. It was set-up in 2005 and does an absolutely fantastic job. As you will see from the site, it is a tiny independent body consisting of only 3 full time staff. It is a great examply of what can be achieved by so few. I know when I was lead member at County Council this organisation were absolutely brilliant. I think it would be a real shame to cut this too, they are just getting going. They promote cycling as a form of exercise, and we all know future generations are going to need things like cycling.

So I would join in with the Cambridge Cycling Campaign and ask the Ministers to have another look at the enormous benefit of both Bikeability and Cycling England.

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