This article was published in 2017, in Newsletter 131.
The election of new metro mayors across England provides an enormous opportunity to improve conditions for people cycling or wishing to cycle. Cycling UK is working with local campaign groups from the Cyclenation federation (such as Camcycle) to ensure that this opportunity is not wasted. We are calling on all candidates to support a set of localised goals, so that all newly-elected mayors put cycling at the forefront of their transport policy – easing congestion, tackling lethal air pollution and creating healthier, happier communities.
Cambridge has the highest rates of cycling in the country, with almost 40% of people commuting to work by bike. The city also has the lowest rate of recorded diabetes in the country and significantly lower than average rates of obesity in both children and adults.
However, other parts of the region are not sharing in this success, with as few as 1% of people cycling to work in some areas. Partly as a result, places just down the road from Cambridge are scoring below the national average in key health indicators.
The election of a mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough provides an opportunity for the region to build on Cambridge’s success. Cycling UK and Camcycle are calling on all candidates to:
- Ensure cycling is fully designed into all new roads projects. Cambridgeshire and Peterborough has lots of roads projects planned, such as upgrades to the A142, A10 and A47. As mayor, will you ensure any such project plans sufficiently for cycling, in accordance with Highways England IAN 195?
- Ensure cycling is fully designed into all new developments. Major developments are planned across the region, with the building of 3,500 new homes planned in Peterborough alone. Cycling must be considered from the outset and planned for appropriately as per the standards set by www.makingspaceforcycling.org.
- Make cycling the easiest and most obvious choice of transport for all short journeys or parts of a longer journey. Support transport authorities in building cycle networks at a local level and ensure that all networks are linked to key transport hubs; and that key transport hubs have adequate facilities for cycling.
Cycling UK has asked all the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough mayoral candidates for their comments and these will be made publicly available at www.cyclinguk.org/votebike