New Cycling UK CEO Sarah Mitchell vows to 'keep Britain cycling'
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.
Notes to editors
- 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
- Photos of Sarah available at: https://www.skyfish.com/p/cyclinguk/1815323
Press contact information
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