Today, I’ve written to my Member of Parliament, Karen Buck. On the 2nd of September 2013, from 7pm to 10pm, there will be a parliamentary debate on cycling, based on the “Get Britain Cycling” report by the Parliamentary Cycling Group.
I’ve written to her asking to attend and explaining why I think it’s important.
If you’d like to write to your MP, visit:
There is a template letter available on the British Cycling website. Make sure you include your address at the top.
Here are some of the facts I included inside the letter:
- Currently, nationwide around 2% of journeys are completed by bike – this is falling embarrassingly behind our European counterparts. In Copenhagen, 33% of all journeys are made by bike. (Source)
- A government report from 2004 estimated the total cost of physical inactivity in England alone to be around £8.2bn a year. Cycling is one of the best ways to get physical activity, and reduce the burden on the NHS. For every £1 pound spent on cycling initiatives, they can generally return up to £4 in saved costs to the NHS and value to the economy. The health benefits of cycling outweigh the risks by 20 to one. (Source)
- The Prime Minister has today announced £77 million pounds spend on cycling that will benefit 8 key UK cities. This will bring the per head spending to £10 per head in those cities. This compares to a pathetic national average of just 94p per person. (Source). In comparison, 26 euros per person is spent in Amsterdam. 25 Euros per person in Copenhagen.
- A mile of new motorway costs on average £30m according to the Highways Agency. When the health benefits, time saved and reduction in congestion and car crashes are taken in to account, Copenhagen authorities have calculated that society makes a net profit of 1.22 Danish kroner (13p) for every kilometre cycled by one of its citizens. By the same criteria, society makes a net loss of 8p for every kilometre driven by car. (Source)
- TfL is behind the times, it’s own counts show that in 2010, cyclists made up 36% of northbound morning rush hour traffic. More than cars and taxis combined. This shows the demand for cycling is there. People want to cycle, but they want to feel safe. It’s a case of if you build it, they will come.
- Official predictions are for the capital’s population to grow from around 8.25 million now to nine million in 2020 and 10 million in 2030. That’s the equivalent of tacking on a city the size of Birmingham within just 18 years. People talk about the lack of space for bicycles. I’d argue, where are all these extra cars going to go exactly?