General election: how do we make the case for investing in cycling?
This week Cycling UK stepped up our election campaign with a successful event in the House of Commons, to launch new research showing the benefits of investing in cycling and walking.
Your support enabled us to commission a new independent report by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR). It sets out how much it would cost to deliver world-class cycling, walking and wheeling infrastructure in England, and the huge value this would bring in terms of health, road safety, the environment and the economy.
It makes a strong case that if the next government wants a value-for-money solution that tackles lots of problems, investing in cycling and walking is the answer. That message spread far and wide in the media, with an amazing stack of almost 200 articles about the research.
At the launch event on Tuesday (6 February) we had a lively discussion with a gathering of Labour politicians, candidates and councillors, including shadow environment minister Daniel Zeichner.
Just the beginning
We discussed the need for public spending to focus more on prevention and ‘spending to save’ – including measures that keep people healthy like walking and cycling, to reduce the burden on the NHS.
Enabling people to travel actively contributes to so many other political goals, from reducing transport emissions and air pollution, to tackling loneliness and strengthening communities.
This event with Labour politicians was just the beginning. We’ve also supported another piece of research showing how more cycling, walking and wheeling can create thriving town centres and rejuvenate high streets.
We’ll be launching this at a second Parliamentary event in March with politicians from all parties.
Getting cycling on the political agenda
In the run-up to the general election, Cycling UK has a bold plan to make sure candidates have cycling on their radar. This is a unique opportunity to change the conversation from polarised to positive, and accelerate progress to get more people cycling.
We know it’s possible, and not just in London. Take Leicester for example: the city has made incredible changes to its streets over the past few years to make cycling and walking safer and easier. As one councillor at our event said:
The future is here, it’s just not evenly distributed across the country
For that to happen, we need more commitment and funding from central government, to unleash councils’ abilities to transform their streets.
This general election will be a crucial moment.
Your support allows us to make a difference
Thanks to your generosity, these reports are already getting into the hands of politicians and candidates to make real change.
But the dream of better spaces for cycling is at a crossroads. Without your support, the voices demanding safer streets risk being drowned out and dismissed.
Will you donate today to build momentum towards the streets we deserve?
Your support will empower Cycling UK to break through the noise by:
- Crafting bold manifesto commitments to encourage political parties to take a stand on active transport
- Commissioning persuasive polls proving that voters across the political spectrum demand walkable, bikeable neighbourhoods
- Developing digital tools to flood candidates’ inboxes with requests for safer streets
At this critical moment, we cannot afford to let progress backslide. Donate today to ensure our momentum towards greener, cleaner and happier neighbourhoods is unstoppable.