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Cycling 'not taken seriously' by central or local governments

By Tom Walker    13 May 2019
The British Cycling report makes three key recommendations based on the report's findings
I sincerely hope that this will act as a wake-up call for us
– Chris Boardman

More than three quarters (76 per cent) of British Cycling members do not believe that cycling is taken seriously by their local authority, while 81 per cent say the same of national government.

That is among the findings of the first-ever State of Cycling report, published by British Cycling. The report is the largest-ever analysis of its kind undertaken by the national governing body, and looks at the attitudes and experiences of 15,000 respondents who ride a bike across the country.

The results follow data released by Sport England last month which showed that the number of adults cycling regularly for travel and leisure/sport both fell in the year leading up to November 2018.

Among the concerns highlighted by the report include that seven in ten cyclists (70 per cent) feel that conditions for cycling have not improved in the last five years, while two thirds (66 per cent) are concerned about their safety when riding on Britain’s roads.

The report makes three key recommendations based on the findings, which are designed to help individuals, businesses and policymakers drive a cultural shift in the future state of cycling in this country.

These include a public mutual respect campaign for all road users, ring-fenced funding for cycling and walking in line with levels suggested by the Walking and Cycling Alliance, and the establishment of a national network of major employers to better understand how the government can help businesses to get more of their employees riding to work.

“Five years ago I appeared on breakfast television to talk about what would make people on bikes safer, and caused uproar on social media for having the cheek to wear my normal clothes, and not hi-vis and a helmet," said Chris Boardman, former Olympic champion and current British Cycling policy adviser.

“Despite the evidence repeatedly telling us that it’s sustained investment in better infrastructure that keeps people safe, for 20 years society has continued to tell us that the answer lies in safety equipment. It speaks volumes that 96 per cent of those surveyed do wear a helmet on the road, and yet today's report still reveals the shameful fact that the vast majority don’t feel safe.

“I sincerely hope that this will act as a wake-up call for us, to let evidence lead our decision-making and make bold decisions on funding and investment, rather than simply taking the easy option and telling people to look after themselves.”

To download and read the full report, click here.

British Cycling  State of Cycling  Chris Boardman 
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