A public meeting will be held on Thursday, April 23, to outline how cycling features in the plans of local and general election candidates in Portsmouth

Election candidates and cyclists will come face-to-face in Portsmouth on Thursday (April 23) as the city’s Cycle Forum looks at how cycling features in the local political manifestos.

The PCF wrote to all local and general election candidates asking them back their ‘City to Share’ cycling strategy, with the responses set to be presented at the meeting at the University of Portsmouth.

Council leader Donna Jones challenged cyclists to help shape the city’s cycling strategy, but cycling minister Robert Goodwill recently said improvement plans need to be realistic if they are to win government funding.

Cllr Donna Jones said: “There have been many highlights during my year as Leader of Portsmouth City Council, but one of the highlights has to be the increased focus and activity around cycling.

“Portsmouth is a densely populated city and so getting around on a bike can often be hazardous. I met with PCF early in my time as Leader and I set them a challenge; as the experts in cycling around this city, why don’t you recommend to me your ideas.

“And they did! I was delighted to receive the PCF Strategy ‘A City to Share’ in November 2014.”

>>> How can Portsmouth improve its cycling strategy?

Jon Spencer, chair of Portsmouth Cycle Forum added: “It’s important that our members can get a clear view of where each candidate stands on cycling. Transport is a key issue in the city and until people can cycle safely the congestion and resulting pollution in the city will remain.

“We drafted our strategy to present a way forward and we’re delighted candidates from all parties in the election are coming forward to support it.”