British Cycling’s viral campaign and network #ChooseCycling has given the party leaders a chance to share their thoughts in the run up to the election. In response to the campaign and the networks’ request that the future government is committed to cycling, Nick Clegg has announced he is keen and supportive of implementing the recommendations.
The policy advisor for British Cycling, Chris Boardman, has praised Clegg and the Liberal Democrats for their support as Clegg pledged his commitment to turning Britain into a cycling nation, in response to the #ChooseCycling network.
The #ChooseCycling network is a group of large and important British businesses who are committed to backing cycling. This includes supporting their staff and customers in cycling and further than this they have asked all party leaders to make genuine commitments to cycling and the safety of cyclists in their electoral manifestos. The network’s actual request was that parties commit to allocating 5% of the British transport budget cycling and to set a target for cycling to account for10% of all trips taken.
From all the parties who were asked the Liberal Democrats were described as ‘the only party to nail their colours to the mast’ by Boardman as they made the pledge to implement every one of the requests that the network had asked and campaigned for. The positivity from Clegg has left British Cycling and the #ChooseCycling Network feeling that a government with Nick Clegg’s party involved is one which truly will support the future of cycling and the cycling infrastructure on our roads.
Of course, pledging something before an election doesn’t necessarily mean it is followed through but the pressure that British Cycling are willing to put upon the Liberal Democrats, should they form part of the next government, should see that the pledge is carried through.
We’ve looked previous at what each party is offering in their manifesto and this further commitment from the Liberal Democrats may make them more popular with cyclists again. It also tallies with research carried out by the British Heart Foundation that suggests cyclists are more likely to vote Liberal Democrat.
Whilst this positivity on the part of Clegg is a step forward for the #ChooseCycling network and British Cycling in general, it will depend entirely on the way we vote as to whether the implementations actually get considered.