Olympians demand 'legacy of everyday cycling' in letter to PM


Some of Britain's Olympic gold medal-winning cyclists have written to Theresa May calling on her to create a "legacy of everyday cycling" to honour their achievements.

Sir Chris Hoy, Laura Trott, Jason Kenny and Chris Boardman were among those to sign the letter, which urged the Prime Minister to ensure 5% of Government transport spending goes towards cycling.

They claimed "chronic underfunding" is keeping cycling "in the slow lane" as a mode of transport.

The Department for Transport said investment in cycling has tripled since 2010.

Childhood obesity could be tackled by promoting the importance of walking and cycling to school, the cyclists wrote.

They also suggested that cities such as New York and Copenhagen show how cycling can create "better places to live and work".

The letter added: "The best way to honour the achievements of our athletes would be a legacy of everyday cycling in this country - a place where cycling is the choice form of transport for people to get around in their daily lives." 

Boardman, policy adviser at British Cycling, said the death of his mother in a collision with a pick-up vehicle while cycling in Connah's Quay, North Wales, on July 16 has made him more determined to campaign for new cycling and walking routes.

He told BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast: "It's a needless death which is such a shame, and you wonder if we had space to do it, would that have happened?"

Boardman, who won individual pursuit gold at the 1992 Barcelona Games, added: "It was something my mum believed in. It doesn't change anything, perhaps strengthens my resolve. But it was something that we already believed in, that that's the place we want to live, where people get around by bikes and walking."

Carol Boardman was taken to hospital after the collision but later died.

Her son said it makes him "angry" that her death has left him "irrationally worried" about his children cycling on roads.

A Department for Transport spokesman said: "Government investment in cycling has tripled since 2010. We are spending £300 million on cycling funding and a further £500 million for infrastructure in local communities which will include benefits for cyclists.

"The number of people choosing to get about by bike has grown over recent years and, following the success of our Rio Olympians, we want to see this trend continue."