Civil Liability Bill [Lords] (Money) – in the House of Commons at 9:42 pm on 4th September 2018.
Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House do now adjourn.—(Jeremy Quin.)
Layla Moran Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Education) 9:52 pm, 4th September 2018
I am extremely grateful to have the chance to speak this evening about the importance of cycling and, more specifically, the Gilligan report. Oxford is famous for being a cycling city. In fact, one of the first early-day motions I tabled following my election was to congratulate the city on its newfound cycling city status and ambitions. That said, it is fair to say that I am a fair-weather cyclist. I use an electric bike with a very pretty basket, and I usually cycle in a skirt and rarely in the rain. One could therefore rightly ask why I decided to become a vice-chair of the all-party parliamentary group on cycling. Well, I did that not because I am not a Lycra-clad, cycling fanatic, but because I am exactly the type of person whom we need to encourage out of the car and into the saddle. While cycling may not be great for my hair, it is brilliant for my health and the environment, and anything that I can do to encourage others to join me is a good use of my time.
Of course, the catalyst for this debate has been the publication this summer of the “Running Out of Road: Investing in Cycling in Cambridge, Milton Keynes and Oxford” report by former London cycling tsar Andrew Gilligan, as part of the National Infrastructure Commission. The report is incredibly welcome. At its heart is a recommendation for £150 million of investment in cycling in Oxford to realise the ambition for a “C change”—a cycling change—with an increase in cycling journeys and a reduction in congestion.
Securing substantially increased funding for cycling in Oxfordshire is key to truly integrating cycling into all local transport and planning projects, to ensuring that cycling provision is ambitious and designed to a high standard, and to ensuring that cycling is integral to other transport networks—my goodness that is not the case at the moment—rather than being isolated or an afterthought.
Sandy Martin Labour, Ipswich
Does the hon. Lady agree that, by demonstrating what is possible, Oxford and Cambridge could show what will work in other towns and cities of the same size across the country? We should not have just one or two beacon towns and cities; cycling should become part of the total transport fabric of this country.
Layla Moran Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Education)
I completely agree with the hon. Gentleman.
The report further advocates an Oxfordshire cycling commissioner with powers similar to those Andrew Gilligan held in London. The commissioner’s job would be to hold all aspects of county, district and city councils to account, and the report suggests that local cycling campaign groups should be funded to allow them to examine and challenge planning applications that are not ambitious enough. I have spoken to Cyclox, BikeSafe and Abingdon Freewheeling, which I am sure would all welcome that proposal with enthusiasm.
The report concludes:
“Provision for cycling in Oxford is poor”.
I absolutely agree.