Campaigners take to the streets outside Tory party conference seeking more “space for cycling”

At 7pm tonight cyclists from the Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign and CTC will take to Manchester’s streets calling for more Space for Cycling.

The cyclists wind their way around the Manchester Central Convention Centre where the Conservative Party Conference 2015 is being held. The cyclists will stop briefly outside Bridgewater Hall to be addressed by Chair of the Commons Select Committee, Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, who will also be presented with a petition.

The petition compiled by GMCC calls for dedicated space for cycling on busy main roads and junctions, as well as a reduction of motor vehicle volumes and speeds on smaller roads

Dr Sarah Wollaston MP (Totnes) and Chair of the Commons Health Select Committee said:

“As a long time campaigner for cycling, I’m delighted to join GMCC and CTC today as they take to Manchester’s streets calling for Space for Cycling.

“Cycling’s benefits in terms of health and the economy are well documented, and I will continue to campaign for conditions which will make cycling safe and a viable transport option for all people, no matter their age or ability.”

The national Space for Cycling campaign – funded by a grant from the indusgtry’s Bike Hub levy – aims to create the conditions where people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities can cycle safely. It is targeted at councillors, seeking their support for improving cycling at a local level.

Manchester is one of eight cities to receive funding from the Department for Transport dedicated to improve cycling provision. GMCC campaigners point out cycling conditions in Manchester are beginning to improve but more needs to be done, citing bus stop bypasses and rat-run road closures as positive firsts steps.

Nick Hubble of the GMCC said:

“We’re slowly starting to see the sort of Space for Cycling Manchester has been crying out for, but there are still large parts of Greater Manchester which are yet to see any change.

“The case for providing better provision for cycling in Greater Manchester is stronger than ever. Over the summer the closure of the Mancunian Way combined with a range of roadworks across the city showed the fragility of a car-based design for the region’s transport system as the road network struggled to cope with the volume of displaced vehicles.

“Higher levels of cycling mean a cleaner, safer, healthier, less congested and more liveable city that benefits people who already cycle, people who would like to cycle more as well as people who don’t, and that’s why we’re demanding Space for Cycling this evening.”

Sam Jones, CTC Campaigns and Communications Coordinator, said:

“Changes to cycle conditions in the UK are reliant upon local authorities seeing the health and economic benefits of creating Space for Cycling. But it is Westminster which will provide the funds for them to do so.

“Today’s ride in Manchester has told a Conservative Government what cycling needs. Now they need to keep their promise and provide funding of at least £10 per head in the forthcoming Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy and the national design standards to ensure the money is well spent.”

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