Make places cycle-friendly

"Keep hammering away, but politely and respectfully. The key is to cultivate good relations with people like councillors and MPs (AMs in Wales). Sticks, such as critical letters to the local paper, need to be used sparingly as it's important not to put backs up."
- David Naylor, Wheelrights (the Swansea Bay cycle campaign group)

Photo: Bike path, courtesy of Wheelrights

You can make your streets better for cyclists - safer, more convenient and more pleasant - with just a few improvements to street design and infrastructure. Many people are passionate about cycling, and you should be able to gather some energetic allies to help with your campaign.

A good place to start is with CTC, the national cyclists' association.

CTC's website

Photo: Bike path, courtesy of WheelrightsCTC has published guidance on cycle-friendly street design and gathered good examples from around the country. It has a number of suggestions on what you can do to campaign for better cycling where you live, and a website where you can report dangerous and annoying potholes.

You could also see if there are already local groups campaigning on cycling issues in your area.

Success stories

Around the country, people are successfully campaigning to improve cycling in their neighbourhoods. Below are two examples. If you'd like to share a cycle campaigning success story, please get in touch.

Photo: protestCycle bridge success
When a major new road was built on the border between Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire, it severed a cycle route from the village of Wing into Leighton Buzzard. Adults and children alike used to enjoy cycling the three miles into town, but the new road made the route too dangerous. So villagers formed a group called Campaign for Wing Hill Bridge to call for a cycle bridge over the road.

After an energetic media and political campaign and a big demonstration, the villagers were successful. Bedfordshire County Council at last agreed to fund the cycle bridge in April 2008.

Riverside route success
When plans for a riverside cycle route through Kendal were scrapped, South Lakeland Action on Climate Change swung into action. They lobbied councillors and organised mass cycle rides to show support for the route.

"Amazingly, when the committee met to reconsider the route, not a single councillor objected to it! We were amazed as this was beyond our wildest expectations," says Sonny Khan from the group.

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