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Political parties should have "ambitious" cycling plans in their manifestos, says Chris Hoy

Olympian dreams of riding to school with his son

Britain's most successful Olympian, Chris Hoy has called on political parties to come up with "realistic and ambitious" plans to provide better facilities for cycling, reports The Times.

Hoy told the paper's Kaya Burgess that provision for cycling should be “at the front of the queue” when designing new roads and junctions, and that he dreams of being able to ride to school with his son when he's old enough.

And he pointed out that building cycling facilities doesn't just benefit people who ride bikes. Reducing congestion "will benefit everybody" he said.

Hoy said cycling plans and budgets should be included in party manifestos

He said: "It’s easy to say ‘we’ll do it’, but how are they going to do it? We need a clear picture of how the different parties see cycling as part of their transport policies.

“I would certainly welcome that - if a party did come up with something that was both realistic and ambitious, they would get the support of the cycling community.”

Cycling infrastructure benefits everyone, Hoy said, and should be welcomed even by those who don't expect to use it.

He said: "It would be short-sighted for people to bemoan any investment in cycling, even if they never intend to cycle themselves. It’s logical that if there are more people cycling, there are fewer people in their cars and more space for them to drive.

"Hopefully politicians will realise that and will sell their support for cycling in that way - that they’re spending this amount of money on cycling, but it’s not just for people who ride bikes: it will benefit everybody.”

Hoy's son Callum is five months old. Not quite old enough to be following in his famous father's wheel tracks yet, but when he is, Hoy plans to teach him to ride away from traffic where there won't be “buses coming straight past you”.

Hoy wants to be able to ride to school with his son.

“That would be the dream scenario. We harp on about Holland and Denmark and Germany, but that’s what they do over there. Not everyone rides around on £10,000 carbon road bikes in luminous Lyrca - they just ride their bikes as part of their lives.”

John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for Along with founder Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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