Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, called on the Government and the Combined Authority to ensure Cambridge has the resources it needs to reach its potential as a world-leading cycling city in a debate in Parliament last night. It follows a report from the National Infrastructure Commission by Andrew Gilligan, ex-cycling czar to Boris Johnson during his tenure as Mayor of London.
Mr Zeichner, responding to a debate on the report, “Running out of Road: Investing in cycling in Cambridge, Milton Keynes and Oxford“, told the House of Commons that it was a “curiously mixed bag of a report. Unfortunately to those of us in Cambridge, it contains a number of inaccuracies, is rather out-of-date, and also misses some key issues for the city.“
“The headline, we agree with – Cambridge is the country’s cycling capital, where cycling is a key mode of transport, but yes, more can and needs to be done. Two obvious omissions: nothing about the problems of bike parking, particularly in the city centre, and the report also failed to mention the enormous, and as yet largely-untapped potential of electric bikes – I love my electric bike and am a big fan!“. He also mentioned dockless bike parking, an ongoing issue for local authorities.
He went on to say: “I take issue with some of the negative comments made about current transport plans in and around Cambridge, where I believe that the Greater Cambridge Partnership is working very effectively, not least in developing the Greenways in and out of the city. The report also completely fails to understand the needs of many city residents who rely on bus services and are unlikely ever to turn to cycling, however good the facilities.“
Mr Zeichner called on Minister Jesse Norman and Mayor James Palmer to act: “I also hope that the Combined Authority Mayor will put money where his mouth is, and use some of the resources from the Transforming Cities Fund on cycling infrastructure. Cycling is already a key transport mode for Cambridge – we are an inspiration and exemplar to others, now we need the DfT and the combined authority to unlock the resources so that we can really get our wheels in motion, and reach our full potential. ”
The report by Andrew Gilligan was released this summer.