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Cycling

Part of Backbench Business — Private Members’ Bills – in the House of Commons at 7:31 pm on 2nd September 2013.

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Photo of Mark Pawsey Mark Pawsey Conservative, Rugby 7:31 pm, 2nd September 2013

The debate has already achieved part of its objective, Madam Deputy Speaker. We have a new cyclist on our Benches. However, if we are fully to realise the objectives set out in the motion, people like me must be encouraged to ride their bikes more.

The inspiration that led me to use my bicycle more came during the recess. A couple of weeks ago, on a Thursday, I read an article in The Times by Dame Kelly Holmes, encouraging Members of Parliament to ride our bikes before participating in the debate. I had intended to drive the six miles or so from my home to the constituency office, but that day I decided to cycle. I should add that the weather was very good during August, and that the sunshine made my decision a great deal easier.

I have a number of observations to make following that experience. Travelling down Dunchurch road in Rugby in a cycle lane, I noticed that other cyclists were still on the road. I asked myself why those guys were still on the road when I was going down the cycle lane, which is half on the footpath. Then I realised that there were “Give way” lines on the side roads, and that I was having to give way to the cars that were coming out of them. Had I been on the road, I would not have had that problem. The other cyclists were making much faster progress than I was. Perhaps the Minister will explain why cars coming out of a side road have priority over the cyclists on a cycle way.