Glasgow becomes founding member of campaign calling for better cycling facilities globally

Glasgow has become a founding member of a global campaign designed to create safe and sustainable cycle lanes for 25 million more people by 2025.

The Cycling Cities Campaign will work with 250 cities with the aim of improving infrastructure, prioritise funding, and build awareness to increase the use of active travel.

Glasgow joins 24 other host cities, including Merida, Mexico City, Jakarta and Rio de Janeiro that, according to organisers, are “at the forefront of rethinking their streets to promote cycling as a positive vehicle for change in the race against global warming.”

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What is the Cycling Cities campaign?

According to campaigners the Cycling Cities campaign is “dedicated to making cycling a viable transportation option for everyday trips in cities by providing an equitable and climate-friendly alternative to private vehicles.”

“Safe, connected cycle lanes are critical to this vision, as are policies and educational campaigns that shift the perception of cycling.”

Councillor Anna Richardson, Glasgow City Council Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction said, “Glasgow is delighted to be one of the founding 25 cohort Cycling Cities. The vision of our city is that walking, wheeling and cycling will be the first and natural choice for everyday journeys for people of all ages and ability.

“In aiming for significant modal shift, we recognise the contribution that active travel can make toward the city achieving its goal of net zero carbon by 2030, as well as contributing to the wider outcomes for the city around health and wellbeing, inclusion and equality, and wealth and inclusive growth.

She added: “increasing cycling will absolutely reduce pollution and improve our air quality and will better support our city’s contribution to a more sustainable planet.”

According to the campaign information “knowledge exchange and ideas sharing” is a major element of the effort to improve cycling infrastructure across the participating cities.

Cyclists to protest on Wednesday morning

The announcement comes ahead of Transport Day at COP26 with criticism being levelled at the conference for its lack of focus on active travel.

GoBike campaigners have criticised COP26 organisers for not including active travel “on the table for discussions”.

Campaigners were also critical of the lack of cycling facilities on offer across the city over COP26.

They said: “cycling provision around the city and to the conference itself has been dire throughout the COP. At the conference, discussions on electric cars are taking centre stage.”

On the transport section of the COP26 website no reference is made to active travel.