Cycle campaign news January 2022

Cycle campaign news January 2022

Cycling UK’s round-up of recent campaigning news.

You will read a surprising amount of good news in this month’s round-up. Take heart from the wins that have been a long, long time in the making, and from the positive results that have arisen from targeted short-term pressure. It seems the Christmas spirit is still delivering, in spite of supply chain issues.

Of course there are many more battles still to fight. Although it happened at the end of December, I want to mark the passing of the freedom fighter and cycling advocate Archbishop Desmond Tutu. His story is an inspiration to carry on when the odds seem heavily against us. When all the world has a bike and a safe place to ride it, we shall surely set ourselves free.

Stephen Dominy

Campaign News editor

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Cyclist alongside a parked car as driver opens her door without looking


Long-term Highway Code awareness campaign needed for mindset shift

After fourteen years of persistent campaigning, changes to the highway code were introduced on 29 January, which should make our roads safer for everyone. Cycling UK welcomed the latest update, which could create a mindset shift, but urges the UK government to commit to a long-term awareness campaign. The charity has produced simple shareable assets to counteract some of the less-than-helpful coverage published by some popular media outlets. They are asking members and supporters to use them in their social media posts in order to communicate the main Highway Code changes more widely.

Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s head of campaigns, wrote to Cycling UK’s members and supporters thanking them, saying “we wouldn’t have secured these changes without the backing of nearly 17,000 members and supporters, who responded to the government’s consultation, adding their voice to our own response”.

Three cyclists in a cycle lane protected by thin bollards known as wands

Cycling UK win: council admits illegal action in removing popular cycle lane

West Sussex County Council has admitted it acted illegally when it decided to remove a popular cycle lane in the seaside town of Shoreham in November 2020.

A court order made in advance of the final hearing of Cycling UK’s judicial review confirms West Sussex County Council acted illegally by removing a cycle lane on Upper Shoreham Road, Shoreham. West Sussex County Council has been instructed to pay £25k in costs to the cycling charity.

Estelle Dehon, barrister at Cornerstone Barristers (who, with Dr Christina Lienen, acted for Cycling UK) said, “At its heart, this case is about the value of active travel, both in terms of promoting human health by reducing air pollution and in addressing the climate crisis. The Statutory Guidance which the Council should have followed made this clear.

“Building on our client’s legal success, it is now time for a consistent approach to be taken across the UK, similar to that in Wales, where there is a strong obligation on all local planning authorities to promote active travel. Given how many deaths are caused by air pollution, and the need for the most urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, this should be a top priority.”

Cycling UK’s legal challenge was funded through its Cyclists’ Defence Fund, which was set up to help fight landmark legal battles which the charity believes will benefit everyone who cycles in the UK.

Chris Boardman

Chris Boardman heads up Active Travel England

In a move welcomed by cycling organisations, Chris Boardman has been appointed the national commissioner for the government’s new cycling and walking body, Active Travel England.

Active Travel England was promised in the Department for Transport’s cycling and walking strategy, Gear Change, back in 2020.

The new funding body and inspectorate is expected to be responsible for driving up the standards of cycling and walking infrastructure and managing the national active travel budget, awarding funding for projects that improve both health and air quality.

Sarah Mitchell, Cycling UK’s chief executive said, “The creation of Active Travel England brings real opportunities, as does Chris Boardman's leadership. As we’ve seen both on the track and in Manchester, we know he always rises to the challenge and Cycling UK looks forward to working with him over the months to come.”

Other stories

Could a Road Safety Strategy get more people cycling in Northern Ireland?

In November’s Campaigns News we reported on the launch of a public consultation on a proposed Road Safety Strategy for Northern Ireland. With just 1% of trips taken by bike, Cycling UK were keen to engage comprehensively, participating in 5 separate public webinars and responding to the online questionnaire .

The response is based on two key aspects of road safety from the cycling perspective; firstly, that cycling must be made much safer through better infrastructure, improved legislation and enforcement, and driver training; secondly, that the perception of safety must also be addressed.

Engagement officer Andrew McClean has outlined Cycling UK’s approach and explains what can be done to change attitudes in Northern Ireland.

Funding joy for 17-year campaign

A 17 year campaign for a new community footway in East Lothian is celebrating a funding windfall that will help protect lives.

Sustrans Scotland has awarded East Lothian Council £30,000 to examine design options for the first section of a cycle and walking path connecting Drem to Gullane.

Drem-Gullane Path Campaign spokesperson Iain V Monk said, “This is thrilling news. Our persistence has paid off and this represents a huge milestone in our campaign for a safe path that can be enjoyed by everyone in our community as well as visitors.

“The path will protect lives by keeping walkers, wheelers and cyclists away from the busy B1345 road and encourage healthier and greener journeys between the villages.

”It's now vital East Lothian Council speeds up construction of this climate-friendly path."

A woman cycles past a bright wall mural

Scotland's route map to achieve a 20% reduction in car kilometres by 2030

Transport Scotland has published a  route map  to achieve a 20% reduction in car kilometres by 2030.

The target was a commitment in the Scottish Government’s  Climate Change Plan update  which was published in December 2020. It was set because transport has been lagging far behind other sectors in cutting climate emissions – remaining virtually unchanged for the past 30 years.

Cycling UK’s campaigns and policy manager in Scotland, Jim Densham, critiques the new measures .

Cardiff’s new ‘pop-up’ cycleway delayed by more than a year

Work to finish a new pop-up cycleway in Cardiff, which runs across the city centre east to west, has been delayed by more than a year, according to WalesOnline .

While a large section of the route is already open – from Atlas Road, along Castle Street, and ending in Dumfries Place – the section along Newport Road is still not finished.

Cardiff council initially said this new bike lane would be quick to install and ready by Christmas 2020. But the route is still under construction along Newport Road, leaving both cyclists and drivers with less space on the road than before.

However, one section of the route did open up on 27 January. Gwenda Owen, Cycling UK’s engagement officer was keen to encourage the council’s continuing work .

Study shows huge value of Covid era cycling infrastructure investment

A new study drawing on data from over 100 EU cities has concluded that Covid-era cycling infrastructure provision has already demonstrated a high return on investment, growing cycling rates by between 11 and 48%, on average.

According to Cycling Industry News, 106 European cities had their daily bicycle count data combed to spot trends by the researchers, who discovered that during the pandemic period cities have added an average of 11.5km of provisional pop up cycle lanes.

New A-Z guide for cycling in Cardiff

Innovative campaign group Cardiff Cycle City have launched their new guide for cyclists, which lists tips, venues, organisations, initiatives, legislation, terminology and inspirational people. Although aimed primarily at residents and visitors to the Welsh capital, many entries are relevant across the UK, and will doubtlessly inspire other local campaigners to create similar guides to their own home towns.

Take action

Cycling champions

If you’ve ever spoken up for cycling, tried to influence your local council, or cycled your child to school, you're already a cycling champion. Add your name to our growing community and receive information about upcoming events in CAN; including webinars and workshops, surgery advice sessions, and campaign action suggestions that will help you build momentum locally.
Further information


Research and recover lost rights of way

There are thousands of historical rights of way were recorded incorrectly when councils were compiling their official maps in the 1950s. However, the public’s right to ride on them still exists. It hasn’t just disappeared because they’ve been marked incorrectly on a map. Discover and recover lost rights of way near you.


Have your say on road traffic reduction

In response to the global climate emergency, Scotland’s Climate Change Plan update in 2020 set out a world-leading commitment to reduce car kilometres by 20% by 2030. The route map, co-developed by Transport Scotland and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), sets out the suite of transport and non-transport policies that will be implemented to support car-use reduction in order to deliver a healthier, fairer and more prosperous Scotland for communities, businesses and visitors.
Further information


Consultation - Draft Investment Strategy for Northern Ireland

The Northern Ireland Executive has produced a vision and strategy that it says will enable everyone to lead a healthy, productive and fulfilling life, and that it will support sustainable economic development and protect our environment.


Diary dates

Surgery session - February - Cycle Advocacy Network - Wednesday 16 February, 12.30-1.30pm

Are you a local cycle campaigner looking for some expert guidance? This is an opportunity for you to have a one-to-one consultation online with Cycling UK campaigns team staff. If you have a) a specific question you’d like to discuss, or b) a more general area you’d like guidance on how to proceed with then this could be for you. More info

Elections across the nations - introducing Cycling UK's campaigns - Wednesday 16 February, 7-8pm

With national elections in Northern Ireland and local elections in Wales, Scotland and England this May, we are introducing our campaigns and manifestos. This event is for campaigners who are wanting to get involved this Spring - can our ideas and resources help your local plans? More info

How to organise a hustings - Thursday 3 March, 7-8.30pm

As we prepare for May's elections, we may be interested to gather local candidates together for a question-and-answer session. This event will look at the whys and wherefores of organising a hustings, and how to make yours a success. More info

Surgery session - March - Cycle Advocacy Network - Monday 14 March, 4.30-5.30pm

Are you a local cycle campaigner looking for some expert guidance? This is an opportunity for you to have a one-to-one consultation online with Cycling UK campaigns team staff. If you have a) a specific question you’d like to discuss, or b) a more general area you’d like guidance on how to proceed with then this could be for you. More info

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