Dr Rachel Aldred, Reader in Transport, was invited to Ed Miliband and Geoff Lloyd’s podcast ‘Reasons to be cheerful’, discussing the benefits of cycling to improve health, cities and save the planet.
Titled ‘On your bike’, the podcast episode looked at the different reasons why cycling is where it is and how transport planning can help improve it. Dr Aldred pointed out that one of the problems is planning often assumes everyone has a car, so it writes cycling out.
Talking about cycling in the UK, she said: “It’s really weird how in this country we’ve made cycling seem as if it is something that is really difficult, that is special and only a few can do. Whereas there’s an assumption that all adults should be able to drive, which is the really specialised thing.”
Regarding the best ways of encouraging cycling, she suggested: “What we need to do is to ensure that we are building that kind of environment that is safe and welcoming, that doesn’t make it a wild knuckle ride, that doesn’t make it scary.”