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Part of Backbench Business — Private Members’ Bills – in the House of Commons at 7:25 pm on 2nd September 2013.

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Photo of Simon Danczuk Simon Danczuk Labour, Rochdale 7:25 pm, 2nd September 2013

My hon. Friend is right, and I agree with my right hon. Friend the Member for Exeter that we need to discuss with local authorities, in consultation with cyclists and other road users, how better road layouts and better systems for cyclists can be designed in our towns and cities. That is crucial, because there is still a long way to go, certainly in places such as Rochdale.

Unlike Steve Brine, I hold local councillors in high esteem, and I have good things to say about them. There has been much talk in the report and in the Chamber about the need for political leadership on cycling, and that is exactly right. Let me now put on record something that I have never put on record before: a Liberal Democrat councillor in Rochdale has done an excellent job in championing cycling. [Hon. Members: “Withdraw!”] I will not withdraw that remark. Councillor Wera Hobhouse really pushed the boundaries in persuading the local authority to do more for cycling in Rochdale, and that does credit to her. She is still a councillor, but is no longer in a position of power. We need such local champions, as well as national champions. We need political leadership to ensure that cycling is given a fair shout at a local level.

I pay tribute to the all-party parliamentary group, and strongly support the campaign that it has initiated.