Cambridge Cycling Campaign wants more people on bikes

Two out of three trips in the UK are less than five miles, a distance that can be comfortably made by bicycle. Highlighting this fact, Cambridge Cycling Campaign has published its Cycling Vision 2016 to guide how funds from government can be used to not only make Cambridge a more sustainable city, but one that is at the heart of the economic recovery of the whole of the region.

Cambridge is often listed as one of the most cycle-friendly town or city in the UK. 21 percent of the population ride bikes for transport, while the UK average is 2 percent.

Cambridge Cycling Campaign is calling for strategic investment in new cycling infrastructure as a cost-effective way to reduce congestion in and around Cambridge. The campaign group – the biggest outside London – is urging the County Council to ensure that any Local Sustainable Transport Fund bids includes a strong cycling component.

The Campaign published its Cycling Vision 2016 statement today, outlining the critical gaps in the cycling network that, if filled, could significantly increase the number of people who can cycle in safety.

Recent investment in cycling over the last three years of £7.2 million in the region have increased the number of people cycling from 18 percent of all journeys to 21 percent.

“This not only allows people who can now choose to cycle safely to save money by not having to buy high priced fuel for their cars, but also reduces the number of cars on the road allowing the remaining cars and buses to travel with less severe traffic jams,” said a campaign statement.

Cycling Vision 2016 calls for the linking of the major education, employment, shopping, and station areas together into an integrated network. It also calls for some major junctions are redesigned to increase the safety of people who already cycle.

Robin Heydon, a spokesperson for Cambridge Cycling Campaign, said: “Our vision is that by filling in the gaps in the current network, and improving the existing road environment, we can all benefit. More people cycling reduces traffic congestion and brings economic benefits to companies in Cambridge and the surrounding villages.”

Cycling Vision 2016 paints a picture of the new housing and employment areas being planned around Cambridge being linked by a ‘Cycle Superhighway’. With more people using bicycles to move around, the Cycling Vision 2016 also asks for an sufficient secure cycle parking to accommodate bicycles. The report estimates that 5,500 cycle parking spaces will be required at the railway station by 2016, and over 1,000 spaces in the city centre.

Martin Lucas-Smith, campaign co-ordinator, said: “We urge the County Council to include our proposals in its forthcoming bid to the Local Sustainable Transport Fund, and the City Council to give Cycling Vision 2016 its support.”

In theory, the Local Sustainable Transport Fund can only be spent an projects that reduce carbon emissions and promote economic growth, which you’d think would be cycle, bus, train and walking projects but it’s believed some local authorities may also bid for car schemes to “reduce congestion.”

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