Tower Hamlets cyclists turn out for Westminster protest ride

Cyclists during a protest ride at Westminster. Credit: Ben Broomfield, The London Cycling Campaign

Cyclists during a protest ride at Westminster. Credit: Ben Broomfield, The London Cycling Campaign - Credit: Archant

Dozens of cyclists from east London joined a protest ride in Westminster as MPs debated safer cycling in the House of Commons.

Members of Tower Hamlets Wheelers – the local branch of pressure group the London Cycling Campaign - were joined by riders from Queen Mary University’s Mile End campus for last week’s event, which attracted more than 5,000 cyclists.

The protest ride was aimed at putting pressure on MPs as they debated a new ‘Get Britain Cycling’ report in the Commons.

Riders decked their bikes out with bells, hooters, stereos and flags as they followed the route from beneath the London Eye to Parliament Square, as police were forced to slow riders at the front of the route down to prevent them catching stragglers at the back.

Tower Hamlets Wheelers’ Gerry Matthews said: “It was an amazing experience to be part of that huge ride and was a big boost to our campaigning.

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“But as many MPs said in the debate the government has to invest much more in cycling across the whole of the UK to bring it up to standard. To bring cycling investment levels up to the Dutch standard spending in London has to double what’s projected, while spending for the rest of the country needs to be 30 times what it is today.”

The debate featured a contribution from Poplar and Limehouse MP Jim Fitzpatrick – who said he was “staggered” by the number of people who got in touch after reading about his consultation on cycling in the Advertiser.

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“We have to raise the bar and look more seriously at investigating more thoroughly the fatalities on our roads,” he added.

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