Space for Cycling
Our Space for Cycling campaign, launched in 2014, deliberately focused on transforming local cycling conditions, targeting councillors and asking them to pledge their support for:
- Dedicating space for cycling on busy roads, designed so that anyone can ride there with a feeling of safety
- On less busy streets, limiting the speed of through traffic
- Ensuring that cycling route networks are continuous and interlink seamlessly, with major junctions no longer posing barriers to cycling
- Creating motor traffic-free routes that provide a sensible alternative to, not a replacement for, the most direct on-road route
- Maintaining roads with cycling in mind. When resurfacing roads, make space for cycling
We recommended a three-stage process:
- Plan – Plan a comprehensive network of cycle-friendly routes
- Invest – Actively seek the funding to implement your plan
- Build – Build your network in accordance with up-to-date high quality design standards
To illustrate what we meant, we published a succinct booklet, with real-life examples.
The guide won the support of London Cycling Campaign (LCC), Cyclenation, the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain, 20’s Plenty, Wheels for Wellbeing and British Cycling. (LCC published separate guidance specifically for London).
Over the next year or so, we unrolled our Space for Cycling messages as widely as possible, employing a range of hooks:
- An online tool at local election time so that voters could email their candidates asking them to make the Space for Cycling pledge
- Resources to help local campaigners persuade elected members to commit formally to plan, invest and build Space for Cycling
- Workshops in a number of cities, plus mass, flag-waving rides
The idea for Space for Cycling came from LCC’s initiative of the same name, launched for borough elections in 2014. This called on every candidate to support safer cycling in their area and asked them to back specific local improvements identified by local LCC groups. Cycling UK’s campaign therefore concentrated on areas outside London.
Since 2014, Cycling UK has developed its Cycle Advocacy Network (CAN) to bring together and support people who want to see real change where they live. If you’re not already a member and share our ambitions for cycling, please do consider plugging into CAN.
We also continue to campaign for cycle-friendly infrastructure (together with the necessary funding), transforming streets, lower speeds and proper road and route maintenance with cycling in mind.
Other subsequent developments include the welcome publication of:
- The Department for Transport’s Cycle Infrastructure Design guidance (2020).
- Welsh Government’s Active Travel Act guidance (2021)
- Transport Scotland’s Cycling by Design (2021)