Cycling has gone “ballistic” in West Yorkshire – and it will get even more popular.
That was the view of Colne Valley MP Jason McCartney as MPs debated the Get Britain Cycling campaign in Westminster.
The Tory MP – himself a keen cyclist – said the arrival of the Tour de France in Yorkshire next summer was a major catalyst.
And he also praised Huddersfield Town for the club’s tremendously-popular Pedal for Pounds cycle rides, helping the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
Mr McCartney, who is a member of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group which produced the report Get Britain Cycling, said: “I fully support the report’s aims especially the target of 10% of all journeys being by bike by 2025, and 25% by the year 2050.
“The motion also calls for Government to show strong political leadership, including an annual Cycling Action Plan and sustained funding for cycling.
“I’d like to welcome the latest Government action which includes making it easier for councils to install cycle facilities, cycle proofing road infrastructure and for stumping up ï¿½148m of new funding between now and 2015.
“Cycling has just gone ballistic in my part of West Yorkshire. My personal passion began with a series of country-wide charity bike rides with Huddersfield Town football club.
“The Tour De France’s Grand Depart will be coming through my constituency on Sunday, July 6, next year and huge numbers of cyclists are already out on the route.
“B&Bs are booked up and cycling related festivals and events are being planned. Government backed the Tour with ï¿½10m.
“And it won’t just be one day as the Tour De France legacy for the Yorkshire Region, Get Yorkshire Cycling, is a 10-year strategy to unlock potential in the areas of health, the economy, environment, transport, tourism and community engagement.”
He voiced concerns about cycle safety and highlighted the case of John Radford, of Meltham, who is seriously ill in hospital after a cycling incident.
“I know the whole House would like to send their best wishes to John Radford and his family.
“British Cycling is at the heart of the drive to make this country’s roads safer for cyclists. We want to get more people out on their bikes but we know the fear of accidents can be a major barrier to participation.
“We need to encourage a culture of mutual respect between cyclist and motorists”.