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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

I should certainly like cyclists to be given more encouragement to use cycle ways when they are provided.

I encountered another problem on that occasion. I had some constituency duties to fulfil. It was a warm day, and it occurred to me that I ought to carry an extra shirt, so I put one in a rucksack which I carried on my back. I still arrived soaked in sweat, not looking much like a Member of Parliament. I tweeted about the experience and received some useful advice on Twitter, namely that I should put some panniers on my bike so that I need not stick a rucksack on my back which would make my back wet. I now know that if I am to use my bike regularly, I shall need to invest in some panniers.

I also found that, in many instances, the cycle way was in pretty poor condition, with very unclear markings. It had probably been constructed three or four years earlier. Local authorities need to invest in ensuring that the markings on cycle ways are clear. On more than one occasion, overgrown trees rendered the cycle way useless and forced me out on to the road.

One or two Members have mentioned vehicles parked in cycle ways. Again on more than one occasion, I was forced on to the road by an illegally parked car or van. I agree with what has been said about the need for flexibility on the part of car users who are currently causing difficulties for cyclists.

I took my life in my hands on a slip road on a dual carriageway. There was fast traffic to my right, and as I progressed along to the slip road, to my left, coming up on the inside. Fortunately it was a quiet day, but I should hate to be on that road in different circumstances. Provision should be made for cyclists on slip roads off dual carriageways. I also felt very uncomfortable on roundabouts, which I know have caused concern to the all-party group. I hope that the debate will result in better designed road schemes that make allowances for cyclists.