Thousands expected at 'Big Ride' on Sat 17 May demanding streets that are safe and inviting for cycling

Thousands of people on bicycles are expected to take part in the London Cycling Campaign "Space for Cycling Big Ride" in central London on Saturday 17 May 2014, telling politicians that Londoners demand streets that are safe and inviting for everyone to cycle.

An event on the Saturday before the mayoral election in 2012 attracted 10,000 participants, and this event is timed for the Saturday before this year's local elections on Thursday 22 May to send the clearest message to London's local politicians.

LCC Chief Executive said, "The Space for Cycling Big Ride is a fantastic opportunity for thousands of people to join together to send a powerful message to politicians and the media – just before the local elections – telling them we want real change on London's streets.

"Our ride will send a positive message to politicians as to how they can improve streets so ordinary Londoners, including children and the elderly, can cycle more safely - preventing the kind of tragedy that we’ve again seen on London's streets this week after the death of another cyclist at Elephant and Castle."

Similar rides are taking place on the same day in other British cities as part of a nationwide Space for Cycling local election push, involving national cycling organisation CTC and cycle campaigns in Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield. 

In London, crowds will gather in Park Lane from 11am for a midday start, and between midday and 1pm the massed riders will proceed at walking pace along motor traffic-free streets through Hyde Park Corner, Parliament Square, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, as far as Embankment.

At the finish location on Victoria Embankment, there'll be a rally  with guest speakers, including representatives of the major UK political parties, with the event ending at 2pm.

The Big Ride is the highlight of the nationwide Space for Cycling campaign, which sees campaigners from all over the UK calling for councils to redesign local streets to make cycling safe and inviting for people of all ages and abilities.

The key measures called for are protected lanes on mains roads, 20mph speed limits, and removing through motor traffic from residential streets.

Guided rides led by our local groups will help bring thousands of people from 30 outer London locations to the Park Lane start point, with details published at http://lcc.org.uk/big-ride-2014.

Our safe, family-friendly event is organised with the cooperation of the Metropolitican Police and Transport for London, and takes place on streets closed to motor traffic, under careful supervision of our expert ride marshals.

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