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Oral Answers to Questions — House of Commons Commission – in the House of Commons at 10:30 am on 14th June 2012.

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Photo of Julian Huppert Julian Huppert Liberal Democrat, Cambridge 10:30 am, 14th June 2012

What proposals the Commission has to make it easier for hon. Members and staff to cycle to the parliamentary estate.

Photo of John Thurso John Thurso Chair, Finance and Services Committee

The House actively encourages cycling to work: officials work closely with the bicycle user group to review facilities for cyclists; a scheme is in hand to increase the number of bicycle parking spaces from about 250 to about 350; the House supported and enabled the establishment of the Barclays cycle hire station at Abingdon Green; a Dr Bike free maintenance check is available, as are facilities such as showers, lockers, bicycle tools and pumps—more showers will be provided this autumn; and, finally, there is a loan scheme for staff which can be used to buy cycles and safety equipment, and a cycle to work salary sacrifice scheme for staff is being implemented.

Photo of Julian Huppert Julian Huppert Liberal Democrat, Cambridge

I thank my hon. Friend for that list. It is good to see that the House is taking some steps towards promoting cycling to work here, but more could be done to ensure that cycle parking is covered, that bikes are available for hon. Members and staff to borrow for short trips around central London, that cycle training is available for those Members who do not know how to ride a bike and would like to learn, and that people no longer need a pass to exit this place by bike.

Photo of John Thurso John Thurso Chair, Finance and Services Committee

I am very grateful to my hon. Friend for his lengthy but good list of aspirations. I know that he is a highly committed co-chair of the all-party group on cycling and was a leading member on the parliamentary bike run last Tuesday. I am sure that the members of the Commission and the management board, and the director general responsible, will have listened attentively to his requests and will do everything possible to implement them.

Photo of Thomas Docherty Thomas Docherty Labour, Dunfermline and West Fife

Does the Commission believe that closing the road outside the Houses of Parliament would greatly assist in trying to promote cycling?

Photo of John Thurso John Thurso Chair, Finance and Services Committee

It is a subject on which the Commission has not yet deliberated but, as the hon. Gentleman has raised it, I am sure that the Commission now will.

Several hon. Members:


Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Chair, Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, Speaker of the House of Commons, Speaker of the House of Commons

Order. I am sorry to disappoint hon. Members; normally, I try to get through the whole list, but there is considerable pressure on time today, so we will move on to the urgent question from Amber Rudd. Just before she takes to her feet, I should just explain that this absolutely will not run any longer than midday and it could run for a lesser time—we shall see. There is heavy pressure on time, this is important and we will now hear from Amber Rudd.