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Part of Backbench Business — Private Members’ Bills – in the House of Commons at 6:44 pm on 2nd September 2013.

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Photo of Mike Thornton Mike Thornton Liberal Democrat, Eastleigh 6:44 pm, 2nd September 2013

I congratulate my hon. Friend Dr Huppert on securing this fantastic debate. He has long been a vocal advocate of cycling, and I pay tribute to his tireless work. I congratulate all members of the all-party group, who have done such a fantastic job. I will not speak for very long—I do not have long, so that is okay and I am sure hon. Members are pleased about that. I shall emphasise the health and economic benefits, which hon. Members have mentioned, and describe my experience of cycling.

I used to cycle a lot when I was less well off and gave up when I could afford a car, but I have cycled into my local town of Eastleigh for shopping and other things. It does not feel that safe. One of my best friends, a physicist by profession, has cycled all over the country. His comments and knowledge are invaluable. The uncertainty principle applies to his cycling, too.

I remember disagreeing with my daughter on whether she should wear a helmet. Helmets are contentious. Some say that wearing a helmet is good and some say it is bad. Whatever one’s views, one must admit that parents, rightly or wrongly, feel their hearts in their mouths when they see their child go out cycling. That is probably one of the constraints on children cycling.