New Cycling UK CEO Sarah Mitchell vows to 'keep Britain cycling'

New Cycling UK CEO Sarah Mitchell vows to 'keep Britain cycling'

Cycling UK’s new chief executive, Sarah Mitchell, who starts work at the charity today (Monday, 19 October) has vowed her goal is to 'keep Britain cycling', maintaining the increased levels of everyday cycling witnessed during the pandemic

Since lockdown began, throughout the UK, record numbers of people have turned to cycling. This has been for a number of reasons, from government advice on social distancing forcing people to consider other options to public transport, to taking advantage of quieter roads.

As she took up her position as Cycling UK’s new chief executive, Sarah Mitchell said:

“We’re at a crossroads in the UK. We have to ask ourselves whether we want a return to the bad old ways of congested cities, polluted unsafe streets and parents feeling they have no choice but to drive on the school run, or whether we want something better.”

Funding and guidance released by national governments for local councils to improve cycling has seen a series of measures including cycle lanes, widened pavements, "school streets'" and low-traffic neighbourhoods employed at a local level to great success.

These have largely been well received by residents, though Cycling UK is concerned councils are under pressure from a minority of people who are resistant to the positive impact these changes could bring.

“Lockdown showed that the people of the UK want to get out on their bikes but only if conditions are made to feel safer,” said Sarah. “The vast majority of people support councils’ improvements for cycling. We can’t – and I won’t – let a small minority of people pressure our councils and governments into going back to a pre-Covid era that put motorists first.

“It is my, and Cycling UK’s, mission to keep Britain cycling, ensuring people have a choice over how they can travel safely.”

Before joining Cycling UK, Sarah was chief executive at Heart of the City, a social business which advises on responsible business. She has also been the former chief executive of Carers Network and head of housing at Crisis, the national charity for homeless people.

She is a keen cyclist who is keen to encourage people from all communities to cycle more, not only to improve the nation’s health and the environment, but to add a little bit of pleasure to everyone’s lives.

ENDS

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 call Cycling UK Press office on 01483 238 315 or email publicity@cyclinguk.orgOut of hours, call 07786 320 713. 

Notes to editors 
  1. Cycling UK, the national cycling charity, inspires and helps people to cycle and keep cycling, whatever kind of cycling they do or would like to do. Over a century’s experience tells us that cycling is more than useful transport; it makes you feel good, gives you a sense of freedom and creates a better environment for everyone. www.cyclinguk.org
  2. Photos of Sarah available at: https://www.skyfish.com/p/cyclinguk/1815323
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