5000 surround Parliament on bikes: now be part of the next steps towards Space for Cycling

Tonight, for the first time in its thousand-year history, the Palace of Westminster was entirely surrounded by protestors on bicycles.

Check out the fab photos above and below from Ben Broomfield and Anna Gudaniec. You may use these under licence – please credit to London Cycling Campaign. 

There are more excellent pics from @zefrog and Joshua Preston, and in our Flickr pool tagged with space4cycling

A procession several miles long, comprising over 5000 Londoners, chanted “Space for Cycling” while encircling the Mother of Parliaments – and inside many MPs also called for dedicated space to make cycling safe.

We’ve been overwhelmed by the response to this summer’s Space for Cycling campaign, and thank every one of you who came on the three protest rides, as well as those who helped us organise and publicise the events.

In total, nearly 10,000 people have taken to the streets this summer to tell our politicians that Londoners demand dedicated space for cycling.

Live TV news crews have broadcast from every ride, and countless newspaper and website articles have explained to the wider public (and politicians) the merits of our protests.

And none of this would be possible without your help – thanks!

However, just having your support on the streets isn’t enough for a membership charity like ours.

Organising an event with so many people, which is also safe to take part in, takes hundreds of hours of staff time – for example:

  • our cycling projects team provides marshals, route-planning, logistics and police liaison
  • our campaigns and communications teams hone our messaging and support the media before, during and after the ride 
  • our marketing team spends days producing and distributing flags, posters, flyers and other materials
  • and between us, in the last month we’ve recruited and managed a team of over one hundred volunteers

As a membership charity, we can only put on events and campaigns like this because of the support of our members and donors.

We have 12,000 members who support our work, but we need more because - even though we think we’re good at what we do – with your support we could do so much more. 

Don’t forget that we have to, through the Mayor, influence Transport for London – a multi-billion pound organisation with thousands of staff – to make sure they don’t forget us, the cyclists.

Not only that, but we must also lobby 33 separate borough councils to make sure our voices are heard locally. 

As you can imagine, in a city the size of Greater London, our 15 permanent staff and several hundred local group volunteers have our work cut out. 

Yet we’re punching above our weight: in 2012 we managed to position our Love London, Go Dutch campaign at the centre of the mayoral election campaign.

And only today, Transport for London announced a short-list for the mini-Holland projects, where £100 million will be spent on making outer London town centres safer and more inviting for cycling.

These flagship “mini-Holland” cycling and walking schemes were our idea, and the Mayor only agreed to them when he committed to our Love London, Go Dutch promises.

We’re doing well, but imagine what we could get done if we had 50 staff, and 5000 volunteers across the city?

We need to grow to meet the demand for cycling in our city, but that’ll never happen unless you can contribute.

Next year, we’re planning what could be the largest single-issue local election campaign in British history, calling for space for cycling and people-friendly streets in every neighbourhood in Greater London.

If we’re to succeed in influencing every candidate across Greater London, we need more resources. 

The task is gargantuan, but the outcome is priceless: space for cycling for the journeys in the neighbourhoods where we live and work.

How you can help...

Become a member (three months free)
We’re a charity funded by our members, so without people like you joining, we couldn’t put on protests/rallies or mount campaigns. Members also get a great package of money-saving benefits, and if you join today you get three months free membership.

Make a donation
If you’re a member already, a one-off or regular donation can help us strengthen our campaigns. Would you consider donating £20 or more to help with the cost of last night's ride?

Stay in touch with us
We want you to stay in touch with us so you know about the latest protest rides, petitions, letter-writing actions, and so on. Our targeted actions get results, but we need your help. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook too.

Volunteer with us
Our borough groups always need enthusiastic people to help with local campaigns, and our head office team always needs energetic people to contribute at HQ or at events. Find out more... 

Recruit a friend
Persuade a friend on a ride or over a drink to become a member, post details of our membership benefits and campaigns on Facebook or Twitter. Buy Gift membership for a friend or family member. 

photo below: @cyclodunc

photos below: Anna Gudaniec

Replies

What a great turn out!  

A gentle pootle through Westminster with 5000 like-minded strangers.

Perhaps now we'll get their attention.

 

This post was edited by Big Softy at 9:47pm 2 September 2013.

Thank you so much to everyone at the LCC for your amazing work today and in the weeks running up to this event.

You guys are so much better than CTC who achieve next to nothing...

  • By janedent at 6:18am 3 September 2013

Thank you LCC. You did, as always, a brilliant job.

Congrats LCC!  Fantastically well organised and what an amazing turnout. When's the next one?! 

How amazing to be part of something so huge. Will not forget riding over Lambeth Bridge & seeing people on bikes streaming over Westminster Bridge in a hurry!

This post was edited by Cyclingbean at 9:56am 3 September 2013.

  • By anita at 12:35pm 3 September 2013

One of these a month would be great fun: a kind of polite Critical Mass.

  • By Kepi192 at 10:49pm 4 September 2013

Yes, very well organised, up to a point. That point was the "finish line". At the end of the circuit we were directed towards Upper Ground, along Belvedere Road and it was here that the marshalls were noticable by their abscence. Due to this lack of stewarding, riders began to spread right across the road, blocking it to oncoming traffic. At the top of Belvedere Road one irrate driver attempted to ram his way through by driving straight at a group of riders. It was only the speedy reactions of the nearest cyclist that prevented him ending up under the front wheels of the car. Whilst the actions of the driver were reprehensible, the behaviour of the cyclists spreading across the road is just the kind of behaviour that hampers LCC and others in their fight for parity on the roads. This oversight with the marshalling is something that needs to be bourne in mind for future events. The marshalls - and I appreciate they are all volunteers - need to remain in place until the crown has, by and large, dispersed.

We note your points, Kepi192. The end point was changed late on because of concerns from private landowners in the area. The marshals rightly encouraged people to either disperse around Jubilee Gardens or to continue on to the far end of Belvedere Road where there was limited space to rally. 

Naturally, many people chose to do their own thing, and there's only limited control we can exert over 5000 people once the official ride has ended.

We agree that blocking a carriageway on foot or bicycle is anti-social and we strongly discourage such behaviour (which by all accounts was very rare). However, driving a car into a group of people is potentially lethal, and we'd call for the full force of the law to be applied to anyone who treated human life in such a callous fashion.

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