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Cycling

Part of Backbench Business — Private Members’ Bills – in the House of Commons at 8:20 pm on 2nd September 2013.

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Photo of Mark Lazarowicz Mark Lazarowicz Labour, Edinburgh North and Leith 8:20 pm, 2nd September 2013

Indeed. I saw that with my own eyes, and I took part on a more conventional bike in that Pedal on Parliament. The point that my hon. Friend makes is a good one. One reason we have seen an increase in Edinburgh in the percentage of journeys undertaken by bike has been the political commitment over many years—political commitment in which, I am pleased to say, the Labour party over the decades has taken the lead, and which, to be fair, is now widely shared across the political parties in Edinburgh, just as it is in the Chamber today.

As my hon. Friend Ian Murray pointed out—and I should mention that we were joined by my hon. Friend Sheila Gilmore in Pedal on Parliament this year—we have also had a very effective grass-roots campaign, first in the form of Spokes, the Lothian cycle campaign, of which I have been a member for many years. That campaign has consistently and in a well-informed way put pressure on local government and central Government to deliver both cycle spending and the integration of policies in wider planning and transport activity, to give cycling a higher profile. We have also seen the very successful Pedal on Parliament initiative, which started in 2012 with a couple of thousand people lobbying the Scottish Parliament at the end of a cycle ride, and which in May this year ended up with 4,000 people in a very impressive lobby of the Scottish Parliament.