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Cycling

Part of Backbench Business — Private Members’ Bills – in the House of Commons at 6:26 pm on 2nd September 2013.

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Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine Conservative, Winchester 6:26 pm, 2nd September 2013

I will not because time is tight and I know other hon. Members want to get in. The way in which Crossrail for cyclists was chiselled out is impressive and a blueprint of what people should be doing—I know what is being done in Swindon.

In my constituency we have made significant progress, for example with national cycle network route 23. However, somebody needs to grab the bull by the horns—or perhaps grab the highlighter pen—and sit down and put those lines on the maps. Then the leadership can really shine through. Will that happen? Well, ultimately it requires the leader of the council to do that. Councillor Keith Wood, who leads the majority council in my constituency, is interested in cycling and keen on cycling, but as he knows, I want to see passion and more leadership from him on that issue.

On design and planning, I am a passionate believer in segregated cycle routes, especially on main busy roads. I have seen them in other parts of the continent and they have to make sense, particularly if we are hopeful of getting children to stay cycling, especially after they have got their driving licence. As those who have read it will know, the report recommends a statutory requirement that cyclists’ needs are considered at an early stage of all new development schemes, and I welcome the new national planning policy framework introduced in 2011. It sets out clearly that including facilities for cycling and walking should be part of delivering sustainable development, but as we know, too often at present those things are not included, which in my book is a wasted opportunity. What is set out in the NPF needs to catch up quickly and become the norm.