Cycle Advocacy Network welcomes all cycling champions

Cycling champions are everywhere
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Cycle Advocacy Network welcomes all cycling champions

Cycling UK is today announcing a brand new way to join its Cycle Advocacy Network. Anyone who speaks up for cycling in their community is now welcome to get involved as a ‘cycling champion’ to receive campaign action ideas and invitations to future online events

The UK’s national cycling charity launched Cycle Advocacy Network (CAN) a year ago, on 30 September 2020, with a publicly available suite of resources including a campaigning handbook and toolkit.

During its first year over 200 volunteers have joined CAN as local representatives of Cycling UK. The charity has introduced virtual gatherings for its local representatives, including campaign briefings, discussions and surgery sessions, to support them to take action where they live.

This event programme is now available for all ‘cycling champions’ to take part, without needing to join as volunteers.

 

Connect with the Cycle Advocacy Network

 

Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s head of campaigns, said “We are delighted to open up the Cycle Advocacy Network and offer more support to the whole range of cycling champions across the four nations of the UK.

“We are hugely grateful for the time and dedication of our existing local representatives, but we need more people to get involved to champion the benefits of cycling, active travel, and healthier streets where they live. 

Not everyone wants or has the time to be a local representative however, but you can be a cycling champion and join and the Cycle Advocacy Network even if you’re time-poor

Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK head of campaigns

“Not everyone wants or has the time to be a local representative however, but you can be a cycling champion and join and the Cycle Advocacy Network even if you’re time-poor, speaking up for cycling, and for those who might cycle if they thought it was safe to do so, as and when you can.

“The strapline for CAN is ‘supporting you to speak up for cycling’ and this new development means we can support many more local cycling champions, helping people to be as effective as possible no matter how much time they have available.” 

Amongst the initial set of action ideas for cycling champions is an invitation to get involved with initiatives around the UN Climate Summit in Glasgow this November. Transport is the UK's biggest polluting sector, accounting for 27% of the UK's greenhouse gas emissions. This can be significantly reduced if more people are enabled to cycle more often. Cycling champions that build community support for more and better connected cycle lanes give politicians the mandate to support active travel investment in the neighbourhoods they represent.

Recent online gatherings for the Cycle Advocacy Network have included discussions about campaigning for provision in rural and semi-rural areas. The most recent was led by Local rep Rachael Wigginton who joined CAN as a brand new campaigner in March 2021. Rachael is particularly interested about promoting cycling within and between villages where she lives in Leicestershire. She used the plans she is developing to stimulate a conversation about the approaches that other campaigners are taking around the country.

Rachael said, “The online gatherings are really helpful ways to share ideas face-to-face and develop our thinking. They are great for building better links with other local campaigners and strengthening the network. We’re moving beyond just planning where and how cycle ways should be built. We’re thinking about engaging people and groups in the neighbourhoods where we live, finding ways to work more widely and improve our communities for everyone.”

For the up-to-date list of action suggestions and events, and for more information about joining as a cycling champion, please visit the CAN homepage.

Contact information 

For more information, please contact the national Cycling UK press office. Due to the restrictions caused by the coronavirus outbreak, currently the main press office number (01483 238 315) is not being monitored. If you would like to speak to a member of the press office during working hours (0900 - 1700) please email publicity@cyclinguk.org. Out of hours, call 07786 320 713.

Notes to editors 
  1. Cycling UK, the UK’s cycling charity, imagines a world where the streets are free of congestion and the air is clean to breathe, where parents encourage their children to cycle to school and everyone shares the exhilaration of being in the saddle. For more than 140 years, we’ve been making our streets safer, opening up new traffic free routes and inspiring more people to cycle more often. www.cyclinguk.org
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