Yesterday the Birmingham Post reported comments by Councillor Deirdre Alden, who argued against investment in cycling, saying that it was mainly young white males who cycle and it was a discriminatory form of transport.
We reject the assertion that cycling in Birmingham is mainly only for white males, and point out that it ignores the discriminatory nature of other forms of transport. We believe that the only way to increase cycling numbers, and make cycling a more diverse form of transport, is to invest in infrastructure to make cycling safer and more attractive.
We would also point to cycling levels in other cities in Europe to show how with the right investment cycling can truly be for everyone.
Catherine Palgrave a cyclist and one of our campaigners said:
“The view that cycling in Birmingham is mostly for white males, or that you can only cycle wearing skin tight lycra is absolutely ludicrous. Around the world people cycle in all kinds of clothing.
“Councillor Alden’s comments also ignore how other forms of transport are actually discriminatory. 30% of households in Birmingham cannot afford access to a car, making little or no contribution to problems such as air pollution which disproportionately affects them.
“There is only one way to increase low numbers of cycling in the city, and truly make it a form of transport for all Brummies. This is to invest in cycling infrastructure, which makes cycling safer and more appealing, and at the same time cutting congestion and helping clean-up the city’s air.
“This is why our Let’s Get Moving campaign is calling on Birmingham City Council to invest £10 per person per year for at least 10 years, to truly make us a cycling and walking city, and tackle our air pollution and congestion problems.”