A round-up of the reactions to the Get Britain Cycling report from the APPCG, the AA, CTC, British Cycling, The Times the CBI...

‘If PM backs Get Britain Cycling, UK will be a leading cycle nation’

Since Wednesday’s publication of the Get Britain Cycling report, cycle advocates have been lending their backing to the findings and urging government to implement the measures in the document, many of which are "inexpensive quick wins" says the CTC. 

If you’re not lucky enough to get a one-to-one with Prime Minister David Cameron to encourage him to back The Times and Bicycle Association sponsored report – like Hope did earlier this week – then you can spend a few short moments signing a petition to (hopefully) trigger a debate in parliament. 100,000 signatures are required for this to happen (there are 32,000 signatures already). 

Onto the reactions:

Chris Boardman: “The benefits of getting more people to cycle in terms of health and improving the places in which we live are clear. We need to be ambitious and set ourselves quantifiable targets to increase the number of people on bikes. Only then will we have a yardstick against which we can measure our every action and policy. This is how we go about winning gold medals at British Cycling because we know it is the only way to be successful.”

Roger Geffen CTC’s Campaigns & Policy Director: “MPs and Peers have highlighted the need for Britain to rediscover cycling, after a whole generation of adults has missed out its benefits for our health, our streets, our communities and our wallets.”

“Some of the report’s recommendations are inexpensive ‘quick wins’, such as getting cycling on the curriculum for secondary as well as primary schools, and making 20mph the normal speed limit for most urban streets. Others, like redesigning our roads and junctions to be cycle-friendly, will require sustained investment over many years.

“However, with growing media interest and with our sporting triumphs of 2012 still fresh in the memory, now is the time for David Cameron to fire the starting-gun for action across Whitehall and throughout the country, to ‘Get Britain Cycling’”.

Sustrans’ Policy Director, Jason Torrance: “The urgent action needed to Get Britain Cycling and the remarkable benefits of doing so are now clearer than ever.

“We now need leadership from the heart of government and co-operation by every department to implement these recommendations in full, helping to create a healthier, happier, more prosperous nation.

“Simple steps like putting cycling in the national curricula and fully considering bikes in planning decisions are vital to making sure people of all ages can cycle with confidence to work and the shops or to socialise.”

British Cycling’s Director of Policy and Legal Affairs, Martin Gibbs: “This is an excellent report and contains all the policy recommendations that this country needs to turn itself into a true cycling nation in the widest sense.

“To be effective the next steps from the government must be led from the very top. The Prime Minister is a good friend of cycling and cycles himself. With his backing we can apply the focus we used to turn ourselves into a leading cycle sport nation to embed cycling across whole of society so that it becomes a normal everyday choice which appeals to everyone. But for this to happen we need an agreed plan involving many government departments which is driven by the Prime Minister’s will to get his country cycling.”

Automobile Association president Edmund King: "If the recommendations in Get Britain Cycling are followed through it should be the catalyst for change to put cycling on the front foot. We now need leadership to match this vision. Drivers and cyclists are often the same people and they should all welcome this report."

Training provider Bikeright also backed the report.

London Cycling Campaign chief executive Ashok Sinha: "We fully support the MPs’ call for strong political leadership from David Cameron to create conditions so all our streets are safe and inviting for everyone to cycle.

"While our 2012 Love London, Go Dutch campaign helped push cycling to the top of the political agenda in the capital, in the rest of the UK cycling is still desperately neglected, and streets are often outright hostile to cycling and walking."

Needless to say the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group backed the report too, having published it. Co-chair Julian Huppert MP said (writing in the Liberal Democrat Voice): "With support from the top, and continued Lib Dem pressure (we’ve long been the loudest political voice for cyclists, and Norman Baker is an excellent Cycling Minister), we could implement the report’s recommendations and Get Britain Cycling.

This is a vital opportunity for British politicians to do the right thing – both at the local level in the run up to the local elections, and on the national stage. Let’s make sure we don’t waste it."

On the day of the report The Times – a paper that has been instrumental in raising the profile of cycle safety – ran a front page story with the headline ‘Cyclists are set to win revolution in road safety’, along with a double page spread on the topic and an editorial leader too.

The paper has also reported that Lord Sugar, Barclays Bank, Sainsbury’s and the Confederation of British Industry and Federation of Small Businesses have supported the call.

The Guardian also covered the report – ‘Invest £1bn a year to boost cycling levels tenfold, urges report‘ – and ‘MPs spell out Britain’s bold cycling future‘, the latter a comment piece again pointing out that the report needs the top level of government to commit to it.

Another media heavyweight – the Financial Times – carried the story, leading with a quote about Ministers potentially "squandering the Olympic legacy and failing to create a healthier and more active" society.

The Independent led with the report’s call to ‘Cut speed limits to get millions more cyclist on the road‘.

The Daily Telegraphcarried a letter calling for cycling to be on the National Curriculum and referring heavily to the Get Britain Cycling report. The letter was co-signed by the APPCG, Bikeability, the AA, the Bicycle Association, British Cycling, CILT, Christian Wolmar, CTC, Cyclenation, LCC, IAM, Passenger Transport Executive Group, RoadPeace, Road Danger Reduction Forum, Road Haulage Association and Sustrans.

Online-only paper The Huffington Post published a positive opinion piece from Sustrans’ Joe Williams, containing the phrase "there is no longer any dilemma associated with helping people get on their bikes" , listing five reasons why the government should back the report.

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