Leeds Cycling Campaign chairman Martin Stanley on biking in the city

Bikers on the CityConnect Cycling Superhighway in Leeds.
Bikers on the CityConnect Cycling Superhighway in Leeds.

I have been cycling in Leeds since I moved here seven years ago.

For many journeys it’s quicker, and always more reliable. My commute from Pudsey to Horsforth takes 35 minutes, whatever the traffic conditions.

By public transport it takes 85 and is affected by traffic. Driving takes 25 minutes, but can often take over an hour due to congestion.

Read more: Half a million trips on Leeds Bradford CityConnect Cycle Superhighway
Healthwise, I’ve never felt better. It’s an amazing feeling to combine my daily exercise with my commute, and leaves so much time for other things.

It also means that my family only have one car with no need for a second. With the cost of just owning a small car being at least £2,000 per year, it means extra money too!

My aspiration though, is to remove the need for owning a car completely. For this we need far better public transport!

The worst thing about cycling in Leeds is the behaviour of a minority of other road users, who seem to see people on cycles as an inconvenience and have no regard for their safety.

Motorists pass too close, pull out without looking, and verbal abuse is not uncommon.

It is a sad state of affairs when people on bikes feel they have to use cameras in case anything like that happens.

Despite this though, I still feel the benefits vastly outweigh the negatives so would encourage people to switch as many of their journeys as they can to cycling.