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Bike Week 2013: UK goes Dutch to support record cyclist numbers

Posted on in Cycles News

Dutch specialists drafted in to counsel MPs during what is to expected to be a record year for cycling

MPs and Dutch representatives have cycled en masse from the Dutch Embassy to the Houses of Parliament this week to celebrate the start of Bike Week 2013 (15th-23rd June).

The ride marks the close partnership between the two countries, with Dutch experts currently advising a delegation from the UK on cycling policy and infrastructure in preparation for a predicted record year for cycling.

Although the UK is still some way from the 14 million trips made by bike every day in the Netherlands, Olympic success inspired an additional 200,000 Britons to start cycling regularly last year, a third more than anticipated. 2013 research has found that at least four in ten Brits now cycle. New safety and infrastructure plans in a recent government report and an ambitious London manifesto from Boris Johnson that leans heavily on the Dutch mode, alongside hundreds of Bike Week events this summer, lead Bike Week experts to believe that 2013 will see more UK cyclists than ever before.

Lord Berkeley, who was one of the delegation returning to attend the Bike Week launch, said of the partnership: "Every year Bike Week events inspire thousands of people to get back on a bike. We are hoping to capitalise on the Dutch experience so that once people get started they keep going, with more safe routes and junctions and easier ways to combine cycling and travel by rail and bus."

Andre Curtis, Bike Week, said: "Bike Week provides a catalyst for getting people back on their bikes. We know many people are keen but haven't touched their bike for years and have no idea how to get it back in working order, while many simply don't know where to start. That's where Bike Week can help. It's the perfect opportunity to talk to experts, get free advice or be inspired by taking part in a led ride. We urge everyone interested in cycling to find their local Bike Week event at bikeweek.org.uk."

Bike Week is the UK's biggest mass participation cycling event, taking place between 15- 23 June across the country.

Visit www.bikeweek.org.uk for a full list of national events.

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