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Which party should cyclists vote for? Weekly round-up #4

Cycling Blog

Which party should cyclists vote for? Weekly round-up #4

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May 3rd, 2015

This week’s round-up features the race taking Yorkshire by storm, David Cameron and his election chums, and efforts by various cities to increase engagement with cycling.

We kept it back until Sunday so we could include the results of the Tour De Yorkshire, which took place this weekend.

Lars Petter Nordhaug, the Norwegian cyclist riding as part of Team Sky, took the victory. He won the first race and kept hold of the Leader’s Jersey throughout the event.

Belgian cyclist Ben Hermans, riding with the BMC Racing Team, won today’s Wakefield to Leeds leg.

The event has drawn an estimated 1.2 million spectators, with police citing a figure of between 500,000 and 750,000 lining today’s route.

Man watching TDY

A man watches the race from the screens at Roundhay Park

The Scarborough News has reported that the winner of the Tour will be receiving “nothing but Yorkshire flowers”, with Bridlington resident Helen Jackson having been commissioned to provide the winner’s bouquet.

The inaugural event seems to have captured the public attention and inspired a huge turnout – we hope next year’s achieves the same!

Who should you vote for?

In our last couple of round-ups we’ve covered political stories detailing the various parties’ promises ahead of the general election on Thursday. The Times reported this week on the Conservatives promise to boost cycle funding in the UK to £10 per head (from a current £6). Their cited motivations were “to improve cycling training for children, build more dedicated cycle lanes, improve dangerous road junctions and create more bike racks at railway stations”.

We hope you’re true to your word, Cameron!

David Cameron with bike

Image by Number 10 and used under Creative Commons license. Linked to source.

If you’re still wondering which party’s manifesto is most strongest on cycling check out this handy breakdown from the Guardian, or the summary below:

  • Conservatives: “Not traditionally the cyclists’ friends, the Tories have talked an increasingly good game in recent years”, 2/10
  • Labour: “two mentions of cycling in 86 pages, and no commitment for funding”, 4/10
  • Liberal Democrats: “the party said it would implement the recommendations of the Get Britain Cycling report”, 8/10
  • UKIP: “cycling is not mentioned once in the 76 pages of the 2015 manifesto”, 0/10
  • Greens: “diverting some of the £15bn from the “wasteful and destructive” major roads programme to fund spending on walking and cycling of at least £30 per person per year”, 10/10

All around Europe

We mentioned the uptake in cycling in the UK since the Tour De France and Tour De Yorskire: similarly inspiring is a story by the European Cycling Federation (ECF) that three of the EU’s biggest markets have seen increases in bike sales and cycling engagement in 2014. In The Netherlands the increase was 4.1%, 7% in France, and  8% in Germany.

The ECF said that “these recently published statistics reflect the renewed interest in cycling all over Europe. The bike has become the symbol of an active, dynamic and healthy lifestyle”.

Evidence of increased attention being paid to cycling can be seen all over European news this week: the Edinburgh Evening News details a £5m boost for cycling facilities in Edinburgh, details the commissioning of 100mi of new cycle paths, and another 450 miles are being built in Hungary, according to Hungarian news site Nol.

Coffee is good for you.

In less political news, the coffee drinkers among you will be pleased by an article in The Cycling Bug which shows that coffee can “make you a better cyclist”: it can increase endurance, speed up recovery, reduce inflammation, increase speed, and remove toxins from your system.

That’s what we like to hear!

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