London has planned to spend over €1 billion to revitalize urban cycling. Such changes would not have been possible without a strong advocacy movement, reports the European Cyclists Federation.

The capitals ambitious new cycling plan backs Dutch style infrastructure with strong commitments on better cycle routes, traffic restriction and ‘Little Holland style developments. The £913m investment forms part of a ten year plan with the majority of infrastructure to be built within the first four years. The ‘game-changing plan was in large part due to the hard work of the cycling advocacy community.

Both the Mayor and I pay tribute to the London Cyclists Campaign, journalists, bloggers and other campaigners for driving the issue so far up the political agenda, says Andrew Gilligan, Londons newly appointed cycling commissioner.

Speaking about the routes, London Mayor Boris Johnson said: I want to make it normal, something for everyone, something you feel comfortable doing in your ordinary clothes. Our new routes will give people the confidence to get in the saddle.

ECFs member groups in the UK include Cyclenation, the umbrella group of city cycling campaigns, CTC the national cyclists organization and Sustrans the sustainable transport charity. All played a big part in the campaigns in London. They are now calling for the UK Government to match Londons investment in the rest of the country.

Advocacy works

If you want proof that bicycle advocacy works, then heres your answer, says Kevin Mayne, Director of Development at ECF. In every city where we have seen big increases in expenditure on cycling there has been a vibrant community of advocates driving the change. We need to ensure that there are groups like our UK members in every city in Europe.

Investing in advocacy is the best way for the bicycle industry to grow the market. I invite everybody from the industry to join us in getting more people on bicycles, adds Mayne.

Mayne will be a keynote speaker at the prestigious International Bicycle Trend Forum at Taipei International Cycle Show. Hell be outlining the work of the ECF Cycling Industry Club, which is currently trying to unlock an additional €6 Billion in EU funding in a bid to double cycling across Europe