British Cycling's Chris Boardman talks sense at 20's Plenty conference in Cambridge.

Cambridge to become a world-leading cycling city, says Chris Boardman

The investment and ambition that Cambridge is putting into cycling will create a world leading cycling city in Britain for the first time, British Cycling’s policy adviser Chris Boardman will say today at a conference in the city.

Speaking at the national 20’s Plenty conference, British Cycling’s policy adviser, Chris Boardman will say:

“Cambridge already has record cycling participation levels with 20% of trips made by bike – 10 times higher than the national average. Not content with this, the council has plans to increase this to a massive 40% by 2023. This is a level that would be ahead of world cycling cities such as Amsterdam and Copenhagen.

“If Cambridge reaches this level there will only be a handful of world cities with a greater share of cycle journeys. This is hugely ambitious but looking at what the city has done for cycling, I have no doubt that it will achieve this target. And if Cambridge is betting on achieving such levels of success, it is proof that any British city could easily follow its lead. There can be no excuses for cities that fail to be ambitious on cycling.”

Cambridge is investing over £10 million over the next two years with £6 million coming from the government’s cycle city ambition grant fund and over £4 million from local contributions. With a population of around 124,000, this equates to almost £40 a head every year being spent on cycling.

On his visit to Cambridge, Boardman will also take the time to meet local MP Julian Huppert – a Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group – to hear about the work the city is doing to further improve cycling. Currently 29% of Cambridge residents cycle to work and also almost 50% cycle at least once a week. Nationally only 2% of people regularly travel by bike.

Huppert, who led the cross-party Get Britain Cycling inquiry to encourage cycling and make it safer said:

“We have supported cycling in Cambridge, benefitting all road users, and aspire to become a world leading cycling city.

“But we know we can only achieve that by sustained investment and that is why I have worked hard in this government to get Cambridge the money it needs to make further improvements to our city to encourage more people to cycle.

“Cambridge has led the way to lower the speed limit on residential roads to protect cyclists and pedestrians. But we also need to change the law to make this happen across the country. It is essential that the 18 recommendations in the Get Britain Cycling report are implemented, which have been supported by pedestrian organisations, the Automobile Association and health charities as well as cycling groups.”

During his visit to Cambridge, Chris Boardman will also see new measures that the council has taken to grow cycling even further, including new segregated cycle lanes along Huntingdon Road, new reduced 20 mph speed limits, safer cycle junctions and cycle filtered roads.

Boardman said:

“Cambridge is also leading the way in lowering the speed limit to 20mph on the majority of resident and shopping streets. With so many cities now making this choice, now is the time for the government to show leadership and change the default limit to 20mph in residential and urban areas. This will save lives and make communities more pleasant places to live for us all.”

Recent research found that the majority of parents are in favour of 20mph on roads near schools.

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