A message from our patron Prof Stephen Singleton
Cycling could transform Tyneside. If cycling was a tablet or a medical intervention it would be a best buy for the health service.
Regular cyclists tend to live longer, have less work absence and those who cycle 25 miles or more a week are measurably fitter than non-cyclists.
Countries that have promoted and provided for cyclists have less obesity than car centric countries like Britain. But the benefits of encouraging cycling are not just better health but a better urban environment. Encouraging cycling in place of car travel cuts danger and congestion on the roads.
It reduces noise, improves the viability of public transport; cycling can quadruple the catchment area of a train or bus service by increasing what would otherwise be the ‘walk distance’.
Cycling in place of driving reduces greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution and improves social inclusion. Not only is it a best buy for health, it’s a best buy for transport policy too. And cycling gets safer the more people take it up.
The Newcastle Cycling Campaign’s objectives chime with the north east public health strategy laid out in Better Health, Fairer Health.
To realise our goals we’ll need to keep cars from parking in cycle lanes, return our residential streets to being a true public space, build a well designed, segregated cycle path network and make our roads feel safe to cycle on. The inbuilt biases that prioritise car travel above active travel in the planning process must be reversed, because basing a system of urban transport around the private car is unhealthy, wasteful and unsustainable.
As Patron of the campaign I am pleased to encourage more people to cycle on Tyneside.
Supporters of the Newcastle Cycling Manifesto
Chi Onwurah MP Newcastle Central
Thank you for your email about the cycling manifesto for Newcastle. I am happy to support in general and do believe that a pragmatic approach is needed if real progress is to be made.
It is essentially a matter for the City Council to role out and I have contacted Councillor Murison, the relevant cabinet member, to ask if he will put the Manifesto on his and the Council’s agenda. He assures me that he is comfortable with it and will be seeking to implement it as and when possible.
Catherine McKinnell MP Newcastle North
Thank you for contacting me about the Newcastle Cycling Campaign’s manifesto, ‘Safe Cycling in Newcastle’. I am more than happy to sign up as a supporter of your manifesto, believing we must find ways of promoting cycling as a cheap, environmentally-friendly, healthy and fun mode of transport and leisure activity. I will therefore do what I can to promote the campaign via Twitter and Facebook too.
All Newcastle Councillors have voted to support the Cycling Manifesto.
The Newcastle Cycling Manifesto http://newcycling.org/news/20110407/newcastle-cycle-manifesto