News clipping – Cycle campaigner hopeful after giving evidence to MPs

A CYCLING campaigner says she hopes her testimony will have encouraged MPs to promote more two-wheeled transport.

Katja Leyendecker, chair of Newcastle Cycling Campaign, gave evidence to the Transport Select Committee on how more consideration should be given to pedal power when planning towns and cities – and not just make biking safer.

“I think the question might be a completely different one and not so much about safety at all ” she said. “I think it is about the future of our cities and how we want to run our cities.”

“We were talking – beforehands – about education and enforcement and I think we have done that. We have done that in London and we have done that outside London. And it is actually the engineering bit that is missing.

“It has been done in bit and pieces, but not in a continuous, and certainly not in a holistic way.”

The evidence was part of two days of hearings in Westminster that aimed to gather views on cycling from across the country.

“It’s been both a nerve-racking and exhilarating experience,” Ms Leyendecker said. “I think I got my point across, that the real debate is about better cities, and we have to start taking cycling seriously as a cornerstone of a liveable and resilient city.

“We must end its silent absence and build cycleways.”

Ms Leyendecker said she hoped to have found “a convert and ally” in one MP and hoped it meant she had managed to get her message across.

Chronicle (27 Dec 2013)