In response to a Liberal Democrat campaign, the Government has said it will boost cycling as a sport by removing barriers to cycle racing on the roads.
In the UK, strict road laws and unsympathetic local police forces have significantly hampered organisers of grassroots road races. This in turn has led to a decline in local cycling clubs.
The Government had previously been unwilling to help. This was despite cycling’s popularity as a leisure activity, the success of UK elite riders internationally, and the importance of encouraging more people to take up sport in the run up to the Olympics.
In response, Liberal Democrat Don Foster MP brought together a cross-party group of MPs who challenged the Government to encourage riding on the roads.
The Liberal Democrat Transport minister, Norman Baker, has now outlined the steps he will take to empower local race organisers to hold more competitions and revitalise their sport.
Commenting, Don Foster, Lib Dem sport spokesman, said:
“Excellent work has been done promoting cycling as an alternative to driving, so why competitive cycling was not supported as well is beyond me.
“I am delighted that we are now removing significant burdens to taking up competitive cycling. Such a move makes it more likely that we’ll find our next Chris Hoy.
“It is good to see a Lib Dem Minister taking common sense steps to encourage a healthier country and help ordinary people enjoy the sport they love.”