Sunny Brighton welcomes Space for Cycling

Becky Reynolds and Lilian Greenwood MP leading cycle campaigners at the Labour Party Conference
Sam Jones's picture

Sunny Brighton welcomes Space for Cycling

Sunny skies greeted campaigners and politicians gathered along the Brighton beach front at the Labour Party Conference on 30 September 2015. CTC campaigner Sam Jones was there to report on the day.

On a crisp autumn morning by a Brighton sea front blazing in sunshine, local campaigners from Bricycles, the Brighton and Hove campaign group, and CTC gathered outside the Hilton Metropole on Kings Rd to promote Space for Cycling.

Shortly after 08.30am they were addressed by the cycling leaders in the newly invigorated Labour Party. Lilian Greenwood MP, the new Shadow Secretary of State for Transport was joined by her colleague Daniel Zeichner MP for Cambridge.

Zeichner has stepped into the shoes of two politicians from the last parliament of excellent pedalling pedigree: Richard Burden MP who was the Shadow Cycling Minister; and Dr Julian Huppert the former MP for Cambridge and co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group (APPCG).

They were also joined by the new co-chair of the APPCG Ruth Cadbury MP and Cllr Julian Bell, Chair of Ealing Council and founder of the Labour Cycling Group who had also cycled down to Brighton.

We need MPs on their bikes, councils and councillors on their bikes, then they will understand all the advantages of cycling."
Cllr Julian Bell

The mood was buoyant among campaigners, as Greenwood promised to “hold the Government’s feet to the fire” over future cycling policy and work towards a safer environment for cycling.

Cllr Julian Bell argued strongly for the need of politicians to take to two or three wheels to appreciate the benefits of cycling. “Politicians need to lead from the front. We need MPs on their bikes, councils and councillors on their bikes, then they will understand all the advantages of cycling, but also the dangers and challenges.”

Shortly after the speeches, the peloton of Brighton cyclists, were led out by Greenwood and Becky Reynolds, campaigner at Bricycles, for a short ride past the Labour Conference centre to the pier and back. Speaking about the strong level of support from Labour, Becky Reynolds said: "We value Labour’s support for a more reliable system of funding for cycling so that using a bike becomes easier and safer for everyone.”

Brighton resident and cycle trainer Katy Rodda was out on the ride showing her support for Space for Cycling. Recently returned from holiday in Denmark, her focus was on the benefit Space for Cycling could have for young people.

“In Denmark, my five year old could cycle safely, but while Brighton is pretty good they cannot” she said, “It [Brighton] is still a mish mash and not joined up. It is very hard to cycle here unless you are an adult and able bodied.”

CTC will be hosting another ride in support of Space for Cycling with the Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign on 06 October at the Conservative Party Conference, and is urging all local cyclists to attend.

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