Push Bikes Manifesto, 2012

Jeremy Clarkson, in The Sunday Times, 8th April, 2012, said:

"[Copenhagen] is fantastic. And best of all: there are no bloody cars cluttering the place up. Almost everyone goes almost everywhere on a bicycle.... City fathers have to choose. Cars or bicycles. And in Copenhagen they've gone for the bike.... The upshot is a city that works. It's pleasing to look at. It's astonishingly quiet. It's safe. And no one wastes half their life looking for a parking space. I'd live there in a heartbeat."

PushBikes has produced the manifesto below to support Jeremy's aspirations for cycling in Birmingham.

We have distributed it to candidates and 10 have responded.

Interesting that so few thought cycling worth discussing - the Conservatives did best with three well argued responses.

We hope that this will become a yearly fixture, and will help voters choose who to vote for.

Push Bikes Manifesto, 2012

Birmingham City Council has laid admirable plans for the regeneration of the centre of Birmingham in its Big City Plan, with it's aim to make it a 'walkable city'. However, Push Bikes believes that we must also make the whole of Birmingham a 'bikeable city'.

The bicycle is the most energy efficient form of transport we have (and will ever invent), and should play a core role in reducing CO2 emissions and air pollution. A 'bikeable city' would be a cleaner city, and offer us the greenest future.

The bicycle offers a freedom that public transport does not, with no waiting times, no changes and a door-to-door service. Bicycles are ideal for shorter trips under 5 miles, while bicycles and public transport complement each other perfectly for longer trips, where the bicycle can bridge the gap between public transport terminals and the start and end points of journeys. The bicycle can also alleviate congestion, by reducing the number of motor vehicles on the roads.

The bicycle is a healthy form of transport. It is a low-impact form of exercise, and can be as intense as the rider chooses. Each year, the problems associated with obesity cost the UK billions of pounds.

The bicycle is cheap. A good new bicycle can be bought for less than the cost of a 1 year bus pass, and on-going costs will be under £100 per year. Increasing bicycle use can have a significant positive impact on the finances of families in Birmingham.

A 'bikeable city' would provide immense benefits to Birmingham. Push Bikes believes it is time for Birmingham to shift priorities from the car to the bicycle.

Manifesto demands:

  • Birmingham City Council should adopt 'a bikeable city' as a strap line, to put the bicycle at the front of BCC transport policy.
  • Birmingham City Council should prioritise creating a safe and attractive environment for bicycles above maintaining capacity for cars.
  • Residential neighbourhoods and shopping areas should be made people friendly by introducing and enforcing 20mph speed limits and reducing through traffic.
  • Aspirational plans for a network of continuous, attractive and convenient cycle routes covering Birmingham should be developed and its construction prioritised as part of the on-going work on Birmingham's transport network.