Leicester City Football Club beat well-funded rivals to win the Premier League. Could "Connecting Leicester" do the same for cycling rates?

Learn how Leicester beats better-funded rivals (at promoting cycling)

Leicester is not one of the UK cities which gets Cycling City Ambition funding from the Department for Transport but this hasn’t prevented the UK’s most racially diverse city from rolling out a programme of active travel measures. Just as Leicester City Football Club has this season punched above its weight so has the city’s planning for pedestrians and cyclists. And this will be apparent to those who attend the City Active City 2016 conference, starting on 19th May. Hosted in Leicester’s iconic Curve Theatre, the two-day conference will bring together cycling experts from across the world.

Birmingham, Leeds and Newcastle have staged Cycle City conferences, now it’s Leicester’s turn as the annual advocacy event by Landor Links moves to the "UK’s unlikely poster city for cycling." Industry figures due to give talks at the conference include Ian Beasant, managing director of Giant UK, and the company’s marketing director Collette Clensy. Beasant will be talking on "selling cycling to the consumer" and Clensy will be discussing Giant’s LIV project for women. 

Andy Salkeld, Leicester City Council’s cycling coordinator said:

"The conference is a great opportunity to share ideas, experiences and examples of how we can all create streets, new developments and cities that work for people, not just cars, and work to build a people-friendly city for the 21st century."

International speakers at the event include Jon Orcutt, director of communications and advocacy at New York City’s Transit Centre, and Karin Svensson-Smith, chair of the Swedish Government’s transport committee.

The kick-off speech at the conference will be delivered by Sir Peter Soulsby, the city’s elected mayor. He will talk about his “Connecting Leicester” programme, which majors on active travel.

Talking about the UK Government’s Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy will be Alison Franks of the Department for Transport. She will share a platform with Helen Donnellan, Leicester City Council’s inward investment director. No doubt all will be smiles but, behind the scenes, Leicester smarts from the fact it doesn’t get any Cycling City Ambition grants despite putting in strong bids.

Eight English cities have access to £94m of grants to help them increase cycling’s modal share.

Birmingham £22m
Leeds £22m
Manchester £22m
Bristol £19m
Newcastle £10.6m
Norwich £8.4m
Cambridge £6m
Oxford £3.3m
Leicester £0

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