Cycle campaign news December 2022

Cycle campaign news December 2022

Cycling UK’s round-up of cycle campaigning news

This season is being referred to as the ‘winter of discontent’ – and it doesn’t stop at strike action, it extends to the cycle campaigning world as well, with several legal challenges reaching the courts this month. In Poole and Kensington, there are sorry tales of councils repeatedly ignoring evidence of public support for measures to improve active travel, and being called out for it with support from the Cyclists’ Defence Fund.

There was brighter news from the Scottish budget, with record levels of funding being announced for cycling, walking and wheeling. And people are getting on their bikes, with new evidence showing that saving money is an important motivating factor as household budgets feel the squeeze.

I hope that you too manage to wrap up warm and get on your bike, enjoy the festive break and feel refreshed to champion cycling with renewed vigour in 2023.

Sophie Gordon

Campaign News editor


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Young man riding an orange cargo bike on a path through a park in Strathaven

New record for active travel spending in Scotland

In its budget for next year the Scottish Government has committed a record amount of money to support walking, cycling and wheeling. The £189m for active travel represents a welcome £39m uplift in investment at a time when there are huge financial pressures on government and household budgets.

Cycling UK’s campaigns and policy manager in Scotland, Jim Densham, says: “These are early days, but it’s exciting that we may be seeing the first glimmers of a new dawn for cycling in Scotland.”

We take a look at the announcement and analyse the figures.


Two women ride along a cycle lane on a road

ONS releases Census 2021 travel to work data for England and Wales

The ONS has released the results of the Census 2021 travel to work data for England and Wales. The Census, however, took place during the Covid-19 pandemic, so the results must be seen in the context of lockdown and furlough.

Keir Gallagher, Cycling UK’s campaigns manager, says: “While the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the workplace means we cannot meaningfully compare these statistics to previous censuses, it is clear that more needs to be done to enable people to cycle to work.

“Although separate DfT figures indicate that cycling levels have risen in England in 2022, these still represent a small fraction of journeys. Local and national governments must do more to make cycling to work a viable and safe option for commuters, by delivering networks of high-quality cycle routes in our towns and cities.”


A truck squeezes through a narrow bridge in Poole

Council rejects public support to close Keyhole Bridge in second consultation

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council has ignored both expert analysis and the results of a second public consultation which supported the permanent closure of a notorious rat-run in Poole beneath the narrow Keyhole Bridge.

The road was closed for a six-month trial period in 2020. Despite a consultation showing 60% of people supported prioritising the route for walking and cycling, the road reopened to traffic in March 2021.

The decision on Wednesday 14 December follows a second consultation period, which the council was compelled to undertake earlier in 2022 after it lost a judicial review brought by local campaigners the Keyhole Bridge Group in November 2021.

Other stories

Family cycle along a suburban street

Saving money a key motivation for Scots to consider cycling in 2022

Research from Cycling Scotland shows how attitudes around cycling in Scotland have changed since 2017.

  • Low cost was cited as much more common reason for cycling in 2022 (29%) than in 2021 (17%)
  • One in 10 (12%) report cycling for some journeys at least once a week
  • More than four in five people (83%) say that being able to combine exercise and transport is a highly motivating factor for cycling more often
  • Safety concerns remain barrier to cycling, with two-thirds (69%) saying they would be more likely to consider cycling if there was less traffic on the roads
  • Gender gap remains – women would be more likely to consider cycling if there was less traffic on the roads (77% vs 63% of men) and if they were more confident cycling (49% vs 30% of men)


A cycle path with uneven surface littered with debris

Satisfaction in cycling facilities in Northern Ireland drops again

A recent DfI report shows less than half of respondents are satisfied with cycling facilities in their area. The authors also muddy the very definition of active travel, but Cycling UK is fighting back, says Andrew McClean, Cycling UK’s engagement officer in Northern Ireland.

New £2m fund to provide secure cycling storage for communities across Scotland

Cycling Scotland is launching a new Residential Cycle Storage & Parking Fund to support the installation of secure bike parking facilities. It follows research earlier this year which found that over a third of households in Scotland were likely to be living in accommodation without access to safe and easily accessible cycle storage, with those from lower socio-economic groups most affected.

Funded by Transport Scotland, the money will enable councils to install secure cycle storage facilities for residents living in high-rise buildings, tenement flats and apartment blocks.


Train passing over a rail bridge above a motorway at Newport
Photo by Jeremy Segrott (Flickr creative commons)

How can Wales reform its transport system to tackle the climate crisis?

Transport is the third-highest emitting sector in Wales, accounting for 17% of carbon emissions; 55% of those come from private cars.

A lack of alternatives leads many people to rely on their cars, particularly in rural areas. Almost half of households spend more than 10% of their income on vehicle running costs.

Transport campaigner Paula Renzel sets out the current situation, and the opportunities presented by the transport strategy and roads review.

December judgement day on Kensington cycle lane

David took on Goliath in the High Court, as a volunteer group in Kensington had its day in court against the council that’s determined to do nothing to make cycling safer. Head of campaigns Duncan Dollimore looks at the royal mess the royal borough has created, and explains why this case matters so much.


Small group of adults and children on a woodland cycle path with bikes, a cargo bike and a segway

Aberdeen Cycle Forum – fighting for the heart of a city

Aberdeen Cycle Forum was formed almost 20 years ago in 2003 after a joint meeting with people from Cycling UK local member group CTC Grampian, Friends of the Earth and Aberdeen City Council.

Since then, the forum has used creative methods to illustrate the potential of active travel, including creating mock-up images redesigning Aberdeen’s busiest streets, and a competition for school children to redesign a junction layout. Campaigns secretary Rachel Martin spoke to Cycling UK’s Jim Densham about the group’s work.

Aberdeen Cycle Forum’s campaign against council plans to mix cyclists in with bus traffic on Union Street was partially successful. The council has agreed to revisit the plans to include safe space for cycling after the ACF petition and a presentation to the council.

England’s Chief Medical Officer releases annual air pollution report, and active travel is a key solution

Air pollution is a health crisis, estimated to account for between 26,000 and 38,000 deaths a year. The report outlines some vital measures that must be taken to clean our air – and allow people to live healthier lives. Active travel is one of them.

The report discusses how interventions such as low traffic neighbourhoods, school streets, dedicated walking and cycling infrastructure, or measures in workplaces and schools, will be most effective when they are introduced together, reinforce one another and amplify the effect.


Small tent pitched on a hillside at sunset
Photo by Martin (Flickr creative commons)

Dartmoor camping legal challenge: how could it affect cycling?

A court case has been underway challenging the right of the public to camp on Dartmoor – currently the only place in England where wild camping is legal. Could this challenge potentially impact on the battle for improved access rights for cyclists? Cycling UK’s off-road adviser Kieran Foster explains what’s happening and gives an update on the byelaws review.

Plans for cycle path to connect Aberystwyth and Machynlleth

Active Travel Network Maps submitted to the Welsh Government by Ceredigion Council and Powys County Council would connect the two towns in mid Wales with a new cycling and walking path.

The plans are only aspirational at this stage, but it’s a good example of local authorities working together to develop connected routes across council boundaries.

Want to get involved with local campaigning in your area and connect with others across the country?


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Take action

Share your views on cycle-rail travel

The Cycle Rail Working Group, which brings together the rail industry and other sustainable transport stakeholders, wants to hear the experiences of the public to ensure it reflects modern requirements. Please give your opinions on what would help them combine cycle and rail travel, through a new online survey.

Share your thoughts

Support the Cambridge Sustainable Travel Zone

Cambridge may be the 'cycling capital' of England, but it still faces lots of congestion pressures. The council are consulting on bold measures to create a Sustainable Travel Zone with improved public transport and walking and cycling routes, and congestion charging for vehicles.

If you live in Cambridge, share your views on the proposals by Friday 23 December.

Find out how

Holyhead station improvement proposals

The Holyhead station scheme is going through WelTAG Stage 2 (Outline Business Case). The project team have arrived at a list of options to proceed with. This is your opportunity to comment on those proposals.

Make your comments


Diary dates

Cycle Advocacy Network surgery session - Friday 27 January 2023, 12:30 to 13:30

These are opportunities for you to have a one-to-one consultation online with Cycling UK campaigns team staff. If you have a specific question you’d like to discuss, or a more general area you’d like guidance on how to proceed with then these could be for you.

Book your slot


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