Leicester played host to the major conference, Cycle City Active City on Friday. The two-day national conference now in its 4th year looked at how cycling can contribute in many different ways to the community, with guest speakers from the US, Sweden and Britain- which included British Olympic gold medalist Chris Boardman, who spoke about how cycling can improve life in the city.
Since Peter Soulsby became City Mayor in 2011, he has actively stepped up to the pace by aiming to have as much cycling in Leicester as there are in Dutch cities. New bike paths have been put in place, which is helping encourage the approximate 13,000 people who are cycling regularly in the city. The city council wants to quadruple that number by the year 2024.
Simon Cole, Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police took part in Cycle City Active Conference and explains his contribution: “I did an input about policing, which includes everything for road accidents through to cycle theft and then the impact on us as a business in terms of using cycles to get about and helping the well-being of our staff by being a part of the workplace schemes that are available for bikes” Says Simon.
“I rode the 16 mile route of a notorious murder from 1919 The Green Bicycle Murder, where I was joined by some reenactors and other guests. We cycled from the city out to Stoughton and on towards Gaulby, to visit the scene of the murder of a young lady who was murdered aged 21, by an offender who was seen on a green bicycle which was recovered from a canal in Leicester.
“It was the famous case of its day, national news and huge national interest.
“It’s a fantastic way to re-create a bit of local history and also to celebrate that we’re hosting such an important national and international cycle conference. Cycling in an important part of the city and the county,” he said.
Cycle City Active City also coincided with Pedal Power- where more than 500 children from both city and county schools promoted Pedal Power in Leicester’s cultural quarter on Friday 20th May, in celebration of the Bikeability training scheme which aims to teach children ages 10 and 11 the ins and outs of safe cycling, which is now in its 10th year.