BigToonRide rode for Newcastle’s future

Yesterday more than 150 cyclists, young and old, took to Newcastle’s streets for a fun event with a serious message. The Big Ride was one of many held across the country in a united call for Space for Cycling, a national campaign highlighting the lack of cycleways in the UK, calling on everyone to write to their Councillors and ask government departments of Transport and Health to drastically increase cycling investment for a better transport future in UK cities.

Katja Leyendecker, chair of Newcycling, said “What an amazing turnout, what a buzz. When the Big Toon Ride coordination group first got together, we would not have dreamt to get 150 cyclists supporting, in person, the Space for Cycling campaign and Big Ride in such numbers. But we did it! What a colourful brilliant crowd turned out. Young, old, bicycle, tricycle, trailers, child seats, mothers, fathers, everyone was there. Cycling and walking really do deserve to take centre stage in our city.

“I am sure the politicians in charge of highways were watching this event carefully. They will now know, more than ever, that cyclists want to see change. We cycled today for a better future in our city tomorrow, for our children, for an altogether healthier transport mix. Cllr Marion Talbot, who helped coordinate the Big Ride, and Cllr Steve Fairlie and Cllr Rob Higgins all showed their support on the day. The message, support and urgency to action Space for Cycling is spreading.

“The pavements were bursting with pedestrians, who cheered us on – people deserve more space. We know that bicycle use is currently suppressed due to lack of safe cycleways and sensible space for cycling. Yet cycling is such a space-efficient way of travelling from A to B and Newcastle must make use of it. I, on behalf of Newcycling, want to say a huge massive Thank You to everyone who attended and cheered us on from the roadside!”

• Write to your Councillor
• Councillors to register their support (over 20 Newcastle Cllrs already have, including Cllr Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council)
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THE BIG RIDE credit Russell Bayliss, Percy Street, Newcastle:
Big Toon Ride 2014 #space4cycling Credite Russell Bayliss (@rustybonkers)

FINISH credit Shannon Robalino, Civic Centre, Newcastle:
Space4Cycling - Big Ride - Newcastle

Councillors supporting Space for Cycling LTR Cllrs Higgins, Fairlie, Talbot with Newcycling’s Claire Prospert – Flickr group credit Shannon Robalino, Civic Centre, Newcastle:
Space4Cycling - Big Ride - Newcastle

More photos on the Newcycling flickr pool
Youtube (by Teesside Cyclist)

Editors notes

History of Space for Cycling:

London Cycling Campaign created Space for Cycling, which in London is focussing on lobbying candidates in this year’s local elections. CTC, the national cycling charity, is taking LCC’s London-born campaign nationwide, and is coordinating the national Space for Cycling campaign to influence councillors in cities and towns across the country. The campaign was part funded by the Bicycle Association’s Bike Hub levy fund.