Cycle Minister sends off Birmingham ride

MPs Robert Goodwill & Richard Burden (L to R) with Labour councillors Photo: D Weight
Robert Goodwill MP rearranges diary to support the Space for Cycling mass ride at the Conservative Party Conference.

Yesterday (Monday 29 September) saw another flurry of activity as CTC’s campaigns team marshalled further political support for cycling at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham.

The day started with a breakfast event hosted by News UK where Cycling Minister, Robert Goodwill MP, promised that the long awaited Cycling and Walking Delivery Plan would be published in October. Expanding on this topic, he also said the Government would commit real money to the Plan’s delivery.

Also speaking at the event, Bicycle Association Executive Director Philip Darnton made the case for continuity of funding, while British Cycling policy advisor Chris Boardman further reiterated the need to deliver the Get Britain Cycling report.

The event, jointly organised by the Bicycle Association (the industry body which also funds CTC’s Space for Cycling campaign), British Cycling, London Cycling Campaign, Sustrans and CTC was well attended by councillors, parliamentary candidates and MPs. Among the audience was also Sir George Young MP and former Health Minister Anne Milton MP, now Commons Whip. Commenting on the event, Prof David Cox, Chair of CTC said, "Seeing such support from Conservative councillors, candidates and MPs was really encouraging. Robert Goodwill’s speech promised great things for cycling – now we just need to wait on the detail and its delivery.”

Goodwill made a further appearance that evening when he re-arranged his diary to send off the mass cycle ride from Victoria Square at 6.30pm. Wearing a Space for Cycling badge, Goodwill addressed over 150 cyclists explaining, “how important cycling is to the health of the nation and delivery of sustainable transport.”

We spend a fair bit of time finding things to disagree about, but cycling isn’t one of them." 

Robert Goodwill MP
Transport Minister on the party view of cycling

The ride was further attended by local MP and shadow cycling minister Richard Burden, and a number of Labour Birmingham councillors including Cllr Tahir Ali, Cllr Lisa Trickett, Cllr Victoria Quinn and Cllr James McKay. Goodwill joked about the strong Labour contingent and said the case for cycling was an issue with cross-party agreement.

Chair of CTC Council David Cox explained the reasons why CTC and Pushbikes set up the mass ride on BBC WM (starts at 39.12). 

The ride was organised by Push Bikes, the Birmingham Cycling Campaign, and CTC, and bicycles were provided by Brompton through the Brompton Bike Hire scheme for the attending politicians.

With a parliamentary debate scheduled for 16 October on the Cycling and Walking Delivery Plan, CTC will continue campaigning to ensure that funding for cycling is top of the debate’s agenda. For further information on our campaigns click here.