British Cycling has just launched its #ChooseCycling Charter with the aim of transforming Britain into a true cycling nation.
The charter is formed of three strands –Better places; Smarter investment; and Strong leadership. It echoes many of the aims we’ve heard a number of times already — a programme to deliver networks of cycle infrastructure; investment of around 5% of the transport budgets and bold leadership from politicians.
It recommends the adoption of segregated cycle lanes alongside main roads; coupled with quiet routes along residential roads.
Rebecca Evans, minister for social services and public health said: “We want Wales to become a truly active nation, where cycling or walking short distances is the norm.
“This is why we introduced our landmark Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013 – supported by £14m funding every year – which requires everybody involved in planning our transport infrastructure to consider the needs of cyclists and walkers from the outset.
ChooseCycling is backed by an impressive number of large businesses, from Aldi to Severn Trent Water. These are businesses with a massive combined workforce, convinced of the idea that healthier staff are more productive staff.
However, where any well-meaning campaign like this falls down is at a local level, where shopkeepers and residents remain convinced that more car parking is the answer to all of their problems. We know that this cannot be further from the truth.
More cycling can help retail businesses on our high streets thrive. Studies in New York City – on the streets where cycling lanes have been installed – have seen retail sales go up by 150%.
Source: The #ChooseCycling Network
This, once again is where we all come in. Whilst ChooseCycling has the support of Assembly Ministers like Rebecca Evans, as we’ve talked about before all of the power at a local level rests with the councillors. We need them to know that we want segregated cycle lanes and that we want to be able to cycle safely around Cardiff.
You can find out who your councillor is on the Council’s website. Why not drop them a line? If you don’t ask, you don’t get.