Space for Cycling is taking to the roads – hopefully they are cycle friendly!

Families demonstrating for Space for Cycling. Photo: Flickr CC, Jim Killock

Space for Cycling is taking to the roads – hopefully they are cycle friendly!

Space for Cycling is taking to the road throughout this autumn and winter. Ten events will take place across the country to engage with local campaign groups and galvanise support. Whether a veteran campaigner or tentative cyclist, please check out our list of events, register your interest and come along!

Space for Cycling is taking to the road throughout this autumn and winter – hopefully they are cycle friendly! If they’re not yet, with your help they soon will be!

Over the course of four months, from October to January, we will be hitting 10 locations across the length and breadth of this country – from Cambridge to Crewe. Whether a veteran cycle campaigner or tentative cyclist, come along to an event near you!

Space for Cycling is a campaign to create the conditions where anyone can cycle anywhere. Through local campaign groups and individuals, we have been calling on local authorities to make the communities we live in cycle-friendly – by creating safe Space for Cycling on all our roads and open spaces.

We believe this benefits everyone – not just cyclists – by creating better, safer and more attractive places to live. Places for people, not vehicles. Places, above all else, to enjoy. The health, environmental and economic benefits of cycling and cycle-friendly towns are far-reaching and well researched. With your help, these goals can be realised by local authorities across the country!  

Space for Cycling, though a national campaign, is implemented very much at the local level. So we rely on people across the UK for success. Active groups already exist in most of the UK’s large cities, such as Newcastle, Brighton, Bristol and Manchester. Rural areas too, such as Somerset, Herefordshire and North Wales, have been calling on their councils for safe Space for Cycling.

We want to expand the reach and impact of these groups and enthuse a whole wave of new support for the campaign. We want to galvanise people into action, irrespective of location or experience. We want safe Space for Cycling to be a priority for local authorities across the country!

In its last incarnation, over 700 Councillors across 192 local authorities (excluding London) backed our call to create protected space on our main roads, remove through traffic from residential streets, lower speeds limits and make our town centres cycle-friendly.

Elections since then mean that currently we have the support of just under 600 Councillors. We want to build up those numbers again but also expand on our previous aims. We want to emphasise the importance of planning a comprehensive cycle network, getting it costed and agreed to and – perhaps most importantly – built in keeping with up-to-date high quality design standards.

...although this campaign is led by Cycling UK, collaboration is key."

Tom Guha, Space for Cycling Officer

If that sounds rather technical and difficult to achieve, and you're wondering where you would start, you’re not alone! That’s exactly what this roadshow is about. We will look at how to start a new campaign group and run training sessions in planning and costing a network. We will talk you through the various online tools to assist your campaign, such as the Propensity to Cycle Tool, Cyclescape and the Cycle Environment Assessment Tool.

We will look at how to develop a media strategy, how to respond to planning applications and consultations. We also want to offer everyone the opportunity to feed into the development of the campaign, as although this campaign is led by Cycling UK, collaboration is key. And if there is anything else you’d like us to look at, please let us know when you register your interest.

All of these workshops will be delivered either by Cycling UK staff members or some of the many well experienced and extremely knowledgeable local campaigners, who will also be able to shed some light on the local context.

If this sounds appealing to you, please register your interest and come along! In the meantime, call on your councillors to pledge support for Space for Cycling.

If you cannot wait to get stuck into some campaigning, why not contact your local campaigns representative to see if there is a group you can join – and if there is no group, why not set one up?

The success of Space for Cycling rests on local public and political support – please join us if you want to see your community improved for the benefit of all!

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