Cycle City Expo is a new two-day conference and exhibition to be staged in Birmingham in April 2013, linking in with a city centre Festival of Cycling organised by Birmingham City Council. The expo has been created by Landor Links, the publisher of Local Transport Today and a number of other transport trade journals. The show manager is Rory McMullan, a bike industry veteran who has worked for Giant and other bicycle companies as well as the Association of Commuter Transport. In 2009 he wrote ‘Cycling to Work: A beginner’s guide’ for Green Books Guides.
Cycle City Expo is aimed at transport practitioners, bicycle companies, policy makers, local and central government officials and others who are working to transform cycle use in UK towns and cities. The focus of the event will be utility cycling.
McMullan said: "The aim of the expo is for the people in government, large and small employers, business, schools, the police, the NHS, third sector, consultancies, suppliers and public health bodies involved in designing infrastructure and promotion of cycling, to discuss and develop strategies to get more people cycling, more safely, in British cities."
Cycling in cities is booming, especially in London. Earlier this week Transport for London’s annual Travel in London report said more than 700,000 people a day cycled during the summer, underlining a 9 percent shift from cars to public transport, walking and cycling since 2000.
However, the rise in the number of cyclists has been accompanied by a disproportionate number of injuries involving bicycles – the number of injuries and fatalities grew by 22 percent, more than four times the 5.2 percent increase in the number of people cycling.
Recent census data also reveals a dramatic rise in the number of car-free households across the capital, with vast numbers of residents opting for alternatives to the private car.
In Hackney, 65 percent of households are now car-free, up from 56 percent in 2001, and Westminster has seen a 6 percent rise, with 63 percent of households car-free and 56 percent of Kensington and Chelsea households are now living car-free.
LCC chief executive Ashok Sinha said: "It’s wonderful to see the growth of cycling in our capital but with this comes an even greater need for better cycling infrastructure and support, to allow all cyclists to make their journeys within the capital safely."
In January, the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group will be staging a parliamentary inquiry into the state of cycling in the UK. ‘Get Britain Cycling’ will hear from experts on the measures needed to increase the safety of cyclists and was inspired by the ‘cities fit for cycling’ campaign in The Times.
Likewise, Cycle City Expo will also be calling on experts to deliver presentations at the conference. McMullan has put out a call for abstracts.
"Themes which this event aims to include are policy initiatives, funding, health benefits of active travel, designing the urban realm to encourage cycling, theft and security, cycle freight, cycle safety, reducing danger from HGVs, cycle networks, mapping and journey planning, segregated cycle lanes, shared space, bike hire and public bike systems, cycling to school, travel planning, and cycle challenges," said McMullan. "We have a variety of venue sizes, from small workshop rooms laid out in classroom style for focused discussion, to conference halls with theatre style seating for 250+ people."
Cycle City Expo is also seeking exhibitors for the indoor expo hall. "We will also have outdoor space suitable for activities such as demonstrations of new products, projects or services," said McMullan.