UPDATED WITH PICS: 300 riders take part in CTC backed Manchester ride, calling for spending on cycling to rise

Mass bike ride heads for Labour Party Conference

Cycle-friendly Labour MPs and councillors will join a ‘Space for Cycling’ bike ride today (Monday 22nd September) in central Manchester to call for long-term funding for cycling in the Labour Party manifesto and protected cycle space on city roads.

The ride will begin in All Saints Park and follow a route around the Party Conference and city centre.

The CTC’s Robbie Gillett said: “We’re glad to be supporting local campaign groups in calling for long-term, consistent funding for cycling across the country. There is already cross-party support to get Britain cycling, now it’s time to see firm commitments in all the parties’ manifestos to make that a reality.”

Ride organiser Jonathan Fingland, Chair of Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign, added: “40% of Greater Manchester’s residents are currently receiving the investment level of £10 per person thanks to the VéloCity2025 project funded by the Government’s Cycle City Ambition scheme. We need to ensure this initial investment is extended to cover all of Greater Manchester and the full duration of the project, until 2025. Many people want to cycle but currently don’t – we’re campaigning for safe space for cycling so everyone has the opportunity to use this healthy form of transport for their local journeys."

Spending outside of London currently averages £2 per person per head. Campaigners are calling for £10 per person rising progressively to £20, in order to meet German levels of cycling by 2025 and Dutch levels of cycling by 2050.

People of all ages will gathered in All Saints Park before setting off at 6.30pm. The ride followed a route around the Manchester Central conference centre, pausing for a photo call outside Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall at 7.15pm with extra MPs and councillors who want to show their support.

National and regional journalists are welcome to participate in this mass ride (as well as bike shop staffers).

Earlier in the day, Labour members had the opportunity to meet cycling champion Chris Boardman who told MPs about the need to implement the recommendations of the Get Britain Cycling report at a breakfast organised by The Times newspaper.

The national Space for Cycling campaign is co-ordinated by CTC in conjunction with local cycle campaign groups, building on a London-focused initiative run by the London Cycling Campaign. It is supported by cycle industry funding from the Bicycle Association’s ‘Bike Hub’ levy and by private donations.

Photos courtesy of Jonathan Keenan from GMCC.


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