A Cyclists' Manifesto

With a General Election being a distinct possibility this year, cycle campaign groups have jointly called for actions at a national level for the new government to promote cycling.

Cycling is fast, fun, keeps you fit and it is free (well almost!).  It also helps to deliver good health for the nation, clean air, safe streets, pleasant neighbourhoods, healthy local economies, sustainable tourism and a versatile option for transport which is widely available to people regardless of age (or youth), income or ability.

So why has it been neglected for so long?  How come we in Britain have such a low rate of cycle use?  Just 2% of trips are made by cycle here, compared with 11% in Germany, 15% in hilly Switzerland, 18% in rainy Denmark and 27% in the Netherlands!

This Manifesto sets out the actions which the UK’s three major cycle campaigning organisations believe are needed to revive the National Cycling Strategy.  We believe that, with sufficient political will, it is entirely possible to achieve a trebling of cycle use in 10 years.

1.  Better cycling conditions:

  • Introduce a default 20mph speed limit for most urban and residential streets.

  • Require Local Authorities to adopt procedures to assess and overcome barriers to cycle accessibility (e.g. busy roads, major junctions), and deliver quality cycle networks in their areas.

2.  Better funding for cycle training and promotion:

  • Provide dedicated revenue funding for “soft measures” such as cycle training, direct marketing (e.g. the TravelSmart initiative) and promotional activities such as Bike Week, European Mobility Week and the TravelWise campaign.

  • Provide fiscal incentives, e.g. removal of VAT from cycles, cycling equipment and cycle-related services (such as cycle training courses).

3.  Better traffic laws and policing:

  • Revise the law on drivers’ insurance to make it easier for non-motorised users to claim injury damages from drivers who hit them.

  • Make traffic policing a Core Priority in the National Policing Plan.

4.  Better integration of cycling and wider transport objectives:

  • Treble the number of rail trips which also involve cycle travel as part of the journey.

  • Promote road safety awareness campaigns in ways which encourage increased cycling.

5.  Better integration of cycling across all areas of Government:

  • Maximise cycling’s contribution to health, education and environmental sustainability (including tackling climate change), and enlist support from the health, education, retail, tourism and other sectors towards the growth of cycling.

  • Provide more resources to promote off-road, sports and other recreational cycling (including ‘Quiet Lanes’, ‘Greenways’, ‘Rediscovering Lost Ways’ and other existing Countryside Agency initiatives).

Contacts for the lead organisations adopting this manifesto:


Contact Address



CCN (Cycle Campaign Network)

89 Rowanfield Rd.

Cheltenham GL51 8AF 

Tel: 01242 582985

CTC (the national cyclists’ organisation)

69 Meadrow Godalming

Surrey GU7  3HS

Tel:0870 873 0060

LCC (London Cycling Campaign)

30 Great Guildford St

London SE1 0HS

020 7928 7220

This manifesto is also supported by the Association of Cycle Traders and the Bicycle Association (representing cycle retailers and manufacturers respectively), British Cycling (the UK’s cycle sport Governing body) and sustainable transport charity Sustrans, best known for their work on the National Cycle Network.