CTC leads national campaign challenging councillors across Britain to make space for cycling

Space for Cycling
Thousands of councillors from across the country will be asked to create the conditions where anyone can cycle anywhere, as CTC, the national cycling charity and local cycle campaign groups join forces to demand space for cycling.

The campaign coordinated by CTC will enable anyone in the country to contact their councillors urging them to make space for cycling and find the funding for it to happen.

Getting more people on bikes will mean better health, reduced congestion and lower emissions. With a public health crisis linked to physical inactivity rapidly rising up the political agenda, local councils have the opportunity to use cycling as a way of improving health.

Although 39% of people say that they could just as easily make a 2 mile car trip by bike as they do by car [1], yet only 2% of trips are actually made by bike and just one in ten people in cycle once a week or more [2].

67% of people say that they aren’t confident cycling on busy roads, with heavy, fast moving traffic and a lack of safe space for cycling the being the biggest barrier for most of us [3].

CTC Chief Executive Gordon Seabright said,

“With the launch of this campaign, CTC is giving people across the country the means to demand space for cycling from their local authority. We’re working with hundreds of volunteers across the country to campaign for protected space on main roads, lower speed limits and – crucially – the funding needed to make it happen.”

He continued: “Space for cycling means tackling the biggest barriers to getting more people cycling: creating safe conditions on our major roads and junctions, lowering speed limits and reducing through motor traffic on residential streets. We’ve examples from around the country of where local authorities have made tremendous improvements, but we’re still a very long way from creating conditions where anyone can cycle anywhere.”

Councillors from around the country have already supported the campaign, with Leader of Portsmouth City Council, Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, and Vice-Chairman of the Local Government Association, said:

“Cycling provides huge benefits for our health and that of our streets and communities.  Portsmouth has already done a lot to promote cycling, creating 20mph streets and a growing cycle network.  Providing ‘Space for Cycling’ benefits everybody in our society, whether or not they choose to cycle themselves. I would urge cross-party support from councillors throughout the country for this campaign.”

Support has also come from transport portfolio holders from Devon, Brighton and Birmingham - see notes to editors.

Notes to editors


History of Space for Cycling: London Cycling Campaign created Space for Cycling, which in London is focussing on lobbying candidates in this year’s local elections. CTC is taking LCC’s London-born campaign nationwide, and is coordinating the national Space for Cycling campaign to influence councillors in cities and towns across the country. The campaign was part funded by the Bicycle Association's Bike Hub levy fund.

The six themes of the campaign are

  •   protected space on main roads
  •  lower speed limits, 20 mph on urban roads, 40 mph on rural
  •  removing through motor traffic
  • cycle routes through green spaces
  • safe routes to schools
  • cycle friendly town centres

Although not all councillors in Britain are up for election in May, some candidates will be targeted by cycle campaign groups in many of Britain’s biggest cities, where a third of council seats will be elected. Local cycle campaign groups in Leeds, Newcastle, Birmingham, Sheffield, Bristol and Manchester and London are all working to challenge councillors in their areas.

Additional ouncillors from around the country have already supported the campaign including:

Cllr Stuart Hughes (Con), Devon County Council's cabinet member for highway management and flood prevention, said:

"I am pleased to support the Space for Cycling campaign's aim to boost cycle use and improve cycling conditions.  Cycling is a clean and healthy way to get out and about, whether for day-to-day travel or for recreation. We've been working hard in Devon to create cycle-friendly towns and to open up routes like the Exe Estuary Trail, and we very much hope to be able to do more of the same."

Cllr James McKay (Lab), Birmingham City Council's Cabinet Member for a Green, Safe and Smart City, said:

“The national ‘Space for Cycling’ campaign chimes in perfectly with Birmingham City Council’s ambition for a Birmingham Cycle Revolution, and I’m pleased that we have secured some initial funding to get started. However, sustaining our 20-year ambition to transform Birmingham into a cycling city will need longer-term funding support.  I’d strongly urge national politicians to support action to create ‘Space for Cycling’ as well.”

Cllr Ian Davey (Green), Deputy Leader of Brighton & Hove City Council & its lead member for transport, said:

“In Brighton & Hove, we’ve been creating space for cycling on our main roads, opening up one-way streets to allow two-way cycling and making it a better, more liveable city. I call on other councils to make space for cycling if they want to improve health, curb congestion and reduce pollution.”

[1] Department for Transport, Public Attitude Statistics ATT0318

[2] Department for Transport, National Travel Survey NTS0604

[3] Department for Transport, Public Attitude Statistics ATT0321

[4] CycleStreets is a UK-wide cycle journey planner system and photomap. CTC’s tool will upload examples of good or bad cycling infrastructure or road layouts to CycleStreets’s photomap: http://www.cyclestreets.net/photomap/


Press contact information

CTC Press Office
Email: publicity@ctc.org.uk
Telephone: 0844-736-8453