Portsmouth City Council staged the inaugural Pedal Portsmouth Event today. Portsmouth Cycle Forum has been delighted to support Cllr Donna Jones in developing and launching this closed-road event.
The event was wonderful and Portsmouth City Council must be congratulated on it. Cllr Donna Jones made the event possible and the team at PCC delivered a great event on a shoestring budget. The result was a real joy. Early estimates suggest around 3000 riders enjoyed the peace of a traffic-free seafront. In the words of one rider: “…it made you feel glad to be alive…! Roll on next year’s…!!”. We are looking forward to working with Portsmouth City Council to keep developing and promoting this event for years to come.
We now hope that Portsmouth City Council is able to look at ways of improving cycling on the other 364 days in the year. It’s sad to announce that figures released by the Department for Transport last Thursday show that once again Portsmouth is the most dangerous place in the country to ride a bike except for a few London boroughs. The number of cycle casualties increased from 906 per million in 2013 to 942 per million in 2014. The 2013 figure itself was an increase on the 2012 figure of 832 per million. The trend is depressingly upward.
Portsmouth City Council must capitalise on the success of this event and take positive action to tackle this horrifying number of cycle casualties. We would like the City Council to commit straight away to developing a comprehensive Cycle Safety Action Plan – the first step on the path outlined in ‘A City to Share’.
We would love to work with Portsmouth City Council to develop a cycle-friendly transport system fit for the 21st century. A City to Share has been recognised at the National Cycle Planning awards as one of the best in the country and the city can exploit that to win government funding. Portsmouth Cycle Forum is already working with Flick Drummond MP to do exactly that – we hope Portsmouth City Council will fully support us.
Thankyou PCC for a great day out, let’s build on it and create a better future for Portsmouth.