Yesterday’s stunning announcement that London plans to spend £913 million to revitalize urban cycling would not have happened without a strong advocacy movement, claims the Brussels-based European Cyclists’ Federation.
The capital’s ambitious new cycling plan backs Dutch style infrastructure with strong commitments on better cycle routes, traffic restriction and ‘Little Holland’ style developments. The investment forms part of a ten year plan with the majority of infrastructure to be built within the first four years. The game-changing plan was partly due to the hard work of the cycling advocacy community.
“Both the Mayor and I pay tribute to the London Cyclists’ Campaign, journalists, bloggers and other campaigners for driving the issue so far up the political agenda,” said Andrew Gilligan, London’s newly appointed cycling commissioner.
ECF’s member groups in the UK include Cyclenation, the umbrella group of city cycling campaigns, CTC and Sustrans. All played a big part in the campaigns in London. They are now calling for the UK Government to match London’s investment in the rest of the country.
“If you want proof that bicycle advocacy works, then there’s your answer,” said Kevin Mayne, director of development at the European Cyclists’ Federation, and the former chief exec of CTC.
“In every city where we have seen big increases in expenditure on cycling there has been a vibrant community of advocates driving the change. We need to ensure that there are groups like our UK members in every city in Europe.”
Mayne is in charge of the Cycling Industry Club, an industry-supported ECF initiative which is currently trying to unlock an additional €6 billion in EU funding for cycling.
“Investing in advocacy is the best way for the bicycle industry to grow the market," said Mayne.
Mayne will be a keynote speaker at the International Bicycle Trend Forum at the Taipei Cycle Show at the end of the month.