MPs debate cycling report


MPs debated a report by the all-party parliamentary group on cycling on 2 September 2013.

The "Get Britain Cycling" report advocates a target of 10% of all journeys to be made by bike by 2025, rising to 25% by 2050.

It calls for "strong political leadership" from the government, with an annual Cycling Action Plan and sustained funding for cycling.

Liberal Democrat MP Julian Huppert, co-chair of the all-party group, told the House: "Currently only about 2% of trips are done by bike in this country - a tiny fraction, well below the levels found in many, many countries."

He added that the group's target to increase cycle journeys was "still below what, for example, the Dutch manage to achieve".

Labour MP Jim Fitzpatrick criticised the UK's "aggressive" cycling culture and praised the "sensible cycling" he had seen in Amsterdam and Copenhagen.

The former transport minister said enforcement of laws against "people crossing red lights and crashing through pedestrian crossings" was needed.

A number of MPs raised the dangers that cyclists face on the roads.

The London Cycling Campaign staged a protest to coincide with the debate which saw thousands of people cycle past Parliament calling for "Space for Cycling" following a number of fatal accidents in London this year.

Summing up for Labour, shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle called for dangerous road junctions to be redesigned to cut the number of deaths.

She welcomed a review of sentencing guidelines in cases where cyclists were killed by dangerous drivers.

Transport Minister Norman Baker said the government had provided funding including "£44 million committed throughout this Parliament to support cycle training for school children" and money for safer junctions in London and other cities.

The debate was nominated by the Backbench Business Committee and the motion attracted cross-party support.

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