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All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group seeks new members, while patron Ben Bradshaw enters Labour leadership contest

The Parliamentary cycle campaign group asks new MPs to sign up after Julian Huppert was not re-elected

Five new MPs have joined the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group (APPCG) following the loss of one of its key members after the elections, and the group is calling for more members. The group's patron and keen cyclist, Ben Bradshaw, also announced last week he will run for the Labour leadership.

The APPCG is looking for new members, especially where MPs are newly elected, after co-chair Julian Huppert, who was widely commended for successfully campaigning for cycling in Westminster, was voted out in Cambridge this month.

Kit Malthouse (Con), Heidi Alexander (Lab), Ruth Cadbury (Lab), Mark Spencer (Con) and Daniel Zeichner, Huppert's Labour replacement in Cambridge, have joined the group, which promotes cycling within the Houses of Parliament and beyond, and organises the annual Parliamentary bike ride. 

The APPCG's patron, Ben Bradshaw, announced last week he will stand as Labour Leader. Bradshaw says he hasn't felt as passionate about many issues as he does about cycling and has criticised the piecemeal, "hotch-potch" approach taken to cycle funding in this country.

During a debate on the government's widely criticised cycling delivery plan, he said: "If we met the targets that our report set for 2025 of 10% of journeys by bike, up from a derisory 2% in England at the moment, we would save £8 billion in health expenditure. If we reached continental levels of 25% of journeys made by cycling by 2050, which was our other target, we would save £25 billion for the health service."

Kit Malthouse (Con) replaces famous Parliamentary cycle campaigner Sir George Young MP, aka the Bicycling Baronet, who did not stand for re-election in North West Hampshire. Now in his mid-70s, Young founded the Parliamentary bicycle pool in 1979, and long supported the APPCG, including as a member and then patron. Malthouse, who was Boris Johnson's Deputy Mayor thanks cycling for cementing his relationship with his now wife.

New APPCG member Heidi Alexander (Lab) once said "it is incumbent on employers and the planning department in councils, where they are considering new developments, to find a way to make cycling easier and more convenient for people".

The APPCG thanked Huppert for his support for cycling over the last five years. Huppert was the Lib Dem cycling spokesman, including during the big pre-election cycling debate and was instrumental in getting the £10 per head per year pledge into the Lib Dem manifesto, making them the only major party to make such a commitment. Huppert also saw a landmark commitment to long term funding and planning for cycling included the Infrastructure Bill, the first such commitment made for cycling in England.

Re-elected were APPCG Treasurer Sarah Wollaston (Con) in Totnes, Chair Ian Austin (Lab) in Dudley, and Vice Chairs Steve Brine (Con) in Winchester, Fabian Hamilton (Lab) in Leeds North, Meg Hillier (Labour and Cooperative) Hackney South and Shoreditch, Jason McCartney (Con) Huddersfield.

APPG Secretary Lord Berkeley retains his seat as a life peer in the House of Lords.

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severs1966 | 8 years ago

An MP being an avid bike rider themself (or claiming to be one in press releases, even when this is fiction) does not mean that they will do shite-all for cycing in general.

Priorities for all MPs in the real world:

1. Getting power
2. Holding power

That is all.

Didn't we all see Cambot-2000 riding a bike before he was put into the top office? All cosmetic. He doesn't ride now, and he has not done anything at all for cycling in his role either as an MP or as PM.

The All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group has achieved nothing at all so far, and is therefore completely irrelevant. Membership thereof is irrelevant.

The supposed line in the Infrastructure Bill requiring bike riders to be considered in future will be ignored, or rather used only as far as creating "infrastructure" which is between worthless and deadly, because no standards or levels of investment are mandated.

bikebot | 8 years ago

Eric Pickles is available.

JamesJ | 8 years ago

Ben Bradshaw said he would run for deputy leadership of the Labour Party not the leadership.

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