Bike riding is booming, but it’s no thanks to successive governments, who have done next to nothing to help UK cyclists. “We still don’t have a half-decent cycle network worthy of the name” complains Keith Bingham in this week’s Cycling Weekly magazine (December 29).

Sportives continue to sell out in record time, British Cycling membership is on the up, but the numbers commuting by bike have hardy charged in the last 10 years and are unlikely to increase unless the roads are made safer.

Keith is right, and everyone who rides a bike knows it, but things could be so much better, as anyone who has visited Amsterdam or Copenhagen will tell you. The Dutch city is good, but the Danes have things near-perfect.

I was in Copenhagen for the 2011 World Championships and was simply amazed. This is a city where the biggest problem for riders is mass bike pile-ups – there really is so many of them!

When surveyed last year, 93 per cent of Copenhageners said it was a good place to be a cyclist, with speed, convenience and health given as the top reasons to ride.

Some 50 per cent of Copenhagen residents commute and 67 per cent reckon cycling is a safe form of transport. Impressive stats, but the Danes are aiming even higher, with an 80 per cent perceived safety target set for four years’ time.

This is the true model for success, rather than just re-designating some bus lanes and splashing around with a few pots of blue paint.

Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly

  • Danny

    Disagree with Dave’s comments. I’ve never noticed CTC stand up and say, right, time to make our cities places where 90% of people feel comfortable hopping on a bike and that cities become places where normal people do normal things on normal cycles. It’s fantastic to see CyclingWeekly start to talk about this.

  • Dave Morrison

    As another subscriber I was very disappointed with this issue, mainly because of the Keith Bingham article. I do not agree with a lot of his rant simply because it was rather slanted, but would have tolerated that if it hadn’t been so long and some of the pages had been used for something more informative. This coupled withy Ben Bradshaw’s Party Political Broadcast made this the worst Cycling Weekly Edition I have ever seen.

    I appreciate that it is difficult at this time of year to fill space, but with my subscription soon to expire I was already contemplating not renewing and this has not helped.

  • Dave R

    As a subscriber and big fan of the mag, I have to admit to being more than a little disappointed with Keith’s article. I am aware that the post Xmas-pre-New Year mag with holidays etc is going to produce a mag that is a little more ‘cut and paste’ than usual but FIVE PAGES was way too long. I completely agree with the sentiments Keith expressed and, of course, the conclusions of the piece but this strayed into the kind of journalism that you expect from the yawn inducing CTC mag or old school Cycling Plus. Campaigning on behalf of cyclist’s rights is an important part of any cycling magazine but this one really over-egged the pudding. Sorry Keith, I’ve always enjoyed your articles in the past.