Spring 2014 push will run through until local elections - LCC calls on trade to back its efforts

LCC Space for Cycling campaign will be ‘biggest ever’

Words by London Cycling Campaign marketing manager Tessa Hazard

Are you wondering how you can raise your profile across the UK, particularly in a thriving marketplace like Greater London? Maybe you want to try something different from the usual above-the-line advertising, and promote your brand to the thousands of daily cyclists through social media, the press, and across all London boroughs.

We at the London Cycling Campaign are looking for a select number of partners to join our Space for Cycling campaign in 2014, an ambitious movement to persuade thousands of local election candidates to back cycle-friendly streets. Our campaign is also an opportunity for bike-related industries to be associated with a positive, effective and well-connected membership charity whose vision is for the whole country to be safe and inviting enough for anyone to cycle.

We don’t think we’re exaggerating when we say we’re currently the most active and effective campaigners on cycling-related issues. Our vision is a nation where anyone, from the fittest commuter to the youngest child, can use their bicycle for everyday journeys that are safe, direct and convenient.

Our Space for Cycling policies are credible because they’ve been put together by a combination of sustainable transport academics, in-house experts, and people who cycle or would like to cycle on a regular basis. We’re calling for proven solutions such as protected space on main roads and busy junctions, as well as removing rat-runs from residential streets and 20mph limits where people live, play and shop.

Thanks to our campaigning in the run-up to the 2012 London mayoral election, Boris Johnson has already put forward an ambitious programme of improvements based on our policies: a central London ‘Bikegrid’, much-improved Superhighway designs, a citywide network of safe and convenient back-street routes, and Dutch-style town centres to create people-friendly streets where people are more likely to cycle and walk.

Our highly effective Love London, Go Dutch campaign succeeded in attracting hundreds of millions of pounds of new public money into cycling, with £1 billion promised to improve streets over the next decade. We’re channelling our expertise into our new call for Space for Cycling, behind which the public have rallied to tell decision-makers we want safe cycling facilities in every neighborhood. Our campaign has gained huge pre-launch interest on social media, and we’ve seen the iconic Space for Cycling banner being used nationally and even internationally as cities across the globe follow our lead and adopt our Space for Cycling message to campaign for improvements to cycling infrastructure and safety in their own towns, cities and communities.

We haven’t gained our campaigning successes without help: as a charity, we’ve achieved so much in the past because of financial support from companies like Brompton, Cycle Surgery and Trek. In the past, they’ve helped provide the resources to mount effective online, social media, press and street-level campaigns, while our sponsors have benefited massively from their association with our positive efforts towards change.

Our 2014 local election campaign will be our largest campaign ever, with online tools that will gain mass support for Space for Cycling. We’ll run a major PR and advertising campaign in national and regional mainstream and cycling media, including another mass ride on the scale of 2012’s Big Ride, which was the largest cycling rally the UK has ever seen. Our network of local activists and supporters will raise awareness of our campaign in every neighborhood across the capital.

As a membership charity, we have direct access to tens of thousands of the most committed cyclists in the country, and will be expanding our reach dramatically over the course of our campaign. We expect our supporters to take hundreds of thousands of positive actions to create Space for Cycling.

Our campaign kicks off in early spring 2014, and runs until the local elections on 22nd May. There’s only going to be an opportunity for a few major supporters of this campaign, so don’t delay. If you want to be involved, get in touch with tessa@lcc.org.uk today.

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