Newcycling is planning its third Civic Cycle Ride for Space for Cycling, a national campaign for cycleways and improved cycling conditions. On Saturday 25 April, with just a few days to go until the national and local elections, we’ll do it all again.
Quick recap, what is Space for Cycling? Starting one year ago, the national Space for Cycling campaign asks councils for better traffic engineering: protected space on main roads. It also wants to see improved town and traffic planning: lower speed limits • removing through motor traffic • cycle routes through green spaces • safe routes to schools • cycle friendly town centres
Katja Leyendecker, newcycling.org management committee member, says “Despite recent efforts, in Newcastle we are yet to see real citywide planning for sustainable transport, walking and cycling.
“We ask people to, again, show their support and join us to ride around the toon, with a good crowd and loads of smiles. This is the pre-election time; the bigger the turn-out the more the politicians will turn their heads. Crowds like ours cannot be brushed aside; they must be heard.
“There have been spot improvements, here and there, sometimes quite bonkers ones too and, ultimately, we are still waiting for a serious and consistent approach to emerge from the council. For the long run, we think they should make contact with an acclaimed urban expert to clearly inclusively chart the transport transition. In the short term, identifying and removing dangerous rat runs, especially near schools, and introducing well-designed safe contraflows are probably the most cost-effective things the council could do straight away; and Newcastle really must start building protected cycleways on main roads.
“So, there’s a lot to do in Newcastle for a fair and inclusive transport system, please do come along to make a noise and ring your bell. The first two rides were really good fun, and we had young kids on their parents’ bikes, and slightly older ones cycling by themselves – so come out to join the big colourful sea of cyclists on Saturday 25 April at 10:00 at Civic Centre. See you there!”