Riders rolling out to urge better support for cyclists in Leeds

A Space for Cycling campaign bike near Leeds Inner Ring Road
A Space for Cycling campaign bike near Leeds Inner Ring Road
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Hundreds of riders are set to stage a two-wheeled demonstration lobbying for better cycling provision in Leeds on Saturday.

The Space for Cycling support ride will see cyclists mass in Millennium Square at 12noon, before either riding a 2km city centre route or a 6km journey to Kirkstall Abbey.

Leeds residents will join riders in cities across the UK to urge council leaders and policy makers to give more consideration to cyclists on local roads.

Space for Cycling sparked after student Philippine de Gerin-Ricard was killed on a cycleway in Aldgate, London, on July 5 2013 – exactly a year before the start of the Tour de France Grand Depart from Yorkshire.

Rides supporting the initiative will take place in cities such as London, Sheffield and York.

Martin Stanley, committee member at the Leeds Cycling Campaign, moved to Leeds three years ago having cycled in European states such as Belgium and joined the campaign group after finding UK roads cater far less to two wheels.

Describing the event as a support ride rather than a demonstration, he said: “Ultimately we just want to make Leeds a nicer and safer place to cycle. The biggest legacy of the Tour de France will be whether we can get better infrastructure in place.”

He said despite big initiatives such as the £29m CityConnect cycleway between Leeds and Bradford, there is still “substandard” provision being built.

The support ride comes a week after Otley-born Olympic silver medal-winning cyclist Lizzie Armitstead wrote to Leeds City Council to urge leaders to implement British cycling’s ChooseCycling manifesto.

The document recommends local and central Government accommodate cycling in road designs through providing “meaningful and consistent” funding.

Coun Roger Harington, Leeds City Council’s cycling champion, said Leeds is “firmly committed to making Leeds as cycle-friendly as possible”.

He added that cycling is now a key element in all its highways and development planning.

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