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Cycling

Part of Backbench Business — Private Members’ Bills – in the House of Commons at 6:35 pm on 2nd September 2013.

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Photo of Chris Ruane Chris Ruane Labour, Vale of Clwyd 6:35 pm, 2nd September 2013

In 2006, four members of the Rhyl cycling club in my constituency were killed in the worst ever cycling accident in British history. They were Tom Harland, aged 14, Maurice Broadbent, aged 61, Dave Horrocks, aged 55, and Wayne Wilkes, aged 42. Two years before that accident young Tom Harland visited the House of Commons and I took him round. His father, John Harland, is a personal friend of mine. The club and families involved were faced with the decision of whether to crumple—both personally and as a club—or whether to thrive. They chose to thrive and I would like to outline some of the successes for cycling in my constituency since 2006, which I think could be replicated around the country.

John Harland got together a group of people, including a chap called Gren Kershaw, who was the ex-head of our local health board, and they had an idea, a vision, for cycling in my constituency, based around Marsh Tracks. In the intervening years, Marsh Tracks has opened, and includes a five-star BMX track with an Olympic starting gate and a £1.2 million floodlit off-road cycleway. It is now being extended with a mountain bike track over a 3 km area. Those are fantastic cycling facilities. The local authority has developed miles and miles of off-road cycleways connecting the towns of Rhyl, Prestatyn, Rhuddlan, St Asaph, Dyserth and Bodelwyddan, and connecting Rhyl college, the local hospital and St Asaph business park—all those key sites are connected off road to the cycleways.