Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Get Britain Cycling - I've written to my MP, you should too

Below is the letter I have sent to my MP via They work For You asking him to attend the Get Britain Cycling debate on the 2nd of September.

Please also write to your MP asking them to attend. Feel free to steal, plagiarise and use the text below as you wish

Dear Stephen Hepburn,

I am writing to ask you to attend the Get Britain Cycling debate in Parliament on the 2nd of September, and represent the best interests of your constituents.

This was the focus of a parliamentary enquiry earlier this year, and has been in the media spotlight for the last 18 months. The report from the enquiry can be read here if you have not already done so.

Cycling has witnessed a large boom in recent years, and is one of the best forms of transport especially for the short journeys which make up the overwhelming majority of car trips in the UK.

Now is an ideal time to prioritise and promote cycling as it is still benefiting from the Olympic "effect" and Bradley Wiggins' historic first British Tour De France win for Britain  which looks set to have another British winner this year. The Tour is also due to start in Leeds in 2014, which is not too far away & certain to increase cycling's profile even further.

More importantly, increasing cycling provision by providing safe infrastructure and road environments  would provide several key benefits within the constituency which would help alleviate some of the issues faced by people living here.

As you are aware, South Tyneside and Jarrow have a significant obesity problem causing other long term health issues such as diabetes and heart disease. You have previously raised this issue requesting numbers.  The local paper has previously reported obesity and related conditions costing £50 Million a year in the borough.

Making cycling a safe and attractive option for people to integrate into their daily lives as a transport mode will make for a healthier population, as it is an excellent way of increasing & integrating activity into everyday life.

As you are also undoubtedly aware, the area is quite deprived, and lots of households are struggling with ever increasing bills.

Cycling could help people reduce fuel and other motoring costs by switching to bicycles. Also areas of the constituency have nearly 50% of households which do not have vehicles.

Prioritising the vast majority of transport policy on cars & other road vehicles negatively impacts these households which do not have cars & rely on public transport, & cycling and walking.

In these times of austerity, building cycling infrastructure has a very high return on investment from short term savings in reducing congestion & fuel costs to long term savings in health costs

I would appreciate your support in this matter on the 2nd of September and would be more than happy to engage in ongoing discussions with yourself about cycling in the constituency.

Yours sincerely,

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