Vote for cycling!
Photo Opportunity: Friday 30th April, 8.30am at Exchange Square, Ballot Box and Vote for Cycling ballot papers.
On Friday April 30th as part of the Bike Friday rides, the Love Your Bike and Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign (GMCC) are encouraging people all across Greater Manchester to ‘vote for cycling’ when voting in the local elections on May 6th.
To encourage all local councillors to support policies that will help to increase cycling levels across Greater Manchester the campaign groups have contacted local election candidates in every ward asking them to complete a cycling issues survey. 
In the next 10 years all Greater Manchester councils will need to meet many challenges: obesity, congestion, air quality, rising transport costs and meeting CO2 emission reduction targets. Cycling is the ideal way to help people save travel costs, reduce obesity levels , become healthier and more active, as well as tackle congestion, reduce air pollution and CO2 emissions. 
With public funding widely predicted to be under severe pressure after the General Election the good news is that investments in policies and projects to increase the levels of people cycling can save money.
Research for Cycling England by SQW Consultants highlighted how “each new additional cyclist generated [by promoting and encouraging] cycling would deliver saving benefits of up to £382 in relation to health, pollution and congestion issues.”  The research also illustrated how a surprisingly small number of additional cyclists would pay for investment in new cycling infrastructure. 
As an example, encouraging just 110 additional people to cycle regularly in Greater Manchester would save up to £41,000 each year in terms of health, congestion and pollution costs and could justify £1 million expenditure on cycling infrastructure and facilities.
Catherine Thomson from Manchester Friends of the Earth said:
“Love Your Bike and the Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign believe that making Greater Manchester a great cycling city will help local councils meet many of the challenges such as reducing traffic congestion, air pollution levels and help tackle rising obesity levels. Cycling is fun, healthier, good for the environment and cost-effective too.”
Bike Friday combines a range of cycle rides into the City Centre from various locations as well as working with companies and local authorities in Greater Manchester to promote cycling, improve cycle facilities and to encourage more people to continue cycling to school, work and for leisure all year round. Bike Friday is part of the Love Your Bike campaign. 
Notes to Editors
 The local election candidates’ survey is available at www.surveymonkey.com/s/BVR9TMR and asks each candidate five questions:
a) How often do you cycle?
b) Do you support the introduction of 20mph speed limits in all residential areas such as the “20s Plenty for us” schemes as introduced in Portsmouth, Newcastle, Oxford, Warrington and Wirral?
c) Would you support your local council providing free adult cycle training to people who live/work in your local authority area?
d) Do you think that people should be able to travel with bicycles on Metrolink during off-peak travel times?
e) What policies does your party have to encourage more people to cycle to work, school, shopping or for leisure purposes?
 In 2004, the Commons Health Select Committee reported that, “If the Government were to achieve its target of trebling cycling in the period 2000-2010 that might achieve more in the fight against obesity than any individual measure we recommend within this report.”
 According to DEFRA, transport-related CO2 emissions accounted for 17.2% of the total emissions in Greater Manchester. Yet nearly 25% of all car journeys are less than 2 miles which would often be quicker and cheaper to cycle.
 “Valuing the Benefits of Cycling” (Page 2 of Exec summary). The research defines regular cycling as three times a week and measures the impact across the lifetime of a project – assumed in this study to be 30 years.
 Research for DfT suggested that:
* An investment of £10,000 requires one additional regular cyclist
* An investment of £100,000 requires 11 additional regular cyclists
 The Bike Friday cycle rides start at 8am from Chorlton Library, Levenshulme Station, Prestwich Pizza Express, Stretford Mall and Withington Library and finish at approx 8.30am at the Triangle, Corporation Street, City Centre. The Bike Friday cycle rides take place on the morning of the last Friday of every month (except December). The rides go a moderate pace, have experienced ride leaders, are entirely law-abiding and can help people develop more confidence in their cycling abilities. Bike Friday is part of the Love Your Bike Campaign: www.loveyourbike.org. For details of the routes see: www.bikefriday.org or join the Bike Friday Facebook group
 For details of the Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign see www.gmcc.org.uk.