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Leicester welcomes cycling specialist from Sydney

Published on 14 June 2017

A SPECIALIST in sustainable transport visited Leicester last week (6 June) to share her expertise in getting more people cycling.

Fiona Campbell, cycling strategy manager from the city of Sydney, Australia, gave a talk at City Hall with the title, ‘Is Sydney’s behaviour change programme the world's most comprehensive?'

Since 2010, Sydney has spent $99 million rolling out its cycling strategy, with infrastructure including cycle tracks along main roads, paths through parks and cycle parking facilities at civic centres and businesses. A complementary social programme to support behaviour change has helped double cycling trips over the last five years.  

Fiona’s talk was hosted by Leicester City Council and open to the public as well as campaign groups, transport consultants and businesses supporting walking and cycling in Leicester. She talked about Sydney’s programmes of cycle training, public rides, information campaigns, events and infrastructure designed to promote Sydney as Australia’s most cycling-friendly city.

After the talk, Fiona took a tour of Leicester’s city centre, taking in the Connecting Leicester street improvements since her last visit to the city.

Fiona said: “The last time I was here I took back the idea of Leicester’s social rides, organised with British Cycling. I started similar social rides in Sydney.

“What is impressive this time is the regeneration of public spaces to reduce the dominance of car pollution and congestion. We’re tackling this issue in Sydney too, so, it’s great to see how the Connecting Leicester programme is taking shape.

“Being able to have a conversation in the great new public squares and streets without the noise of car traffic was noticeable. If I ever move to the UK, I would think about living here”.

Assistant city mayor Cllr Adam Clarke, who leads on environment and sustainability, said: “Fiona was last here as part of the Building Cycling Cultures Conference in 2012, so a lot has changed since then.

“Her visit gave us the chance to share stories of our challenges and successes over the last five years.

“It's great to know that on her last visit Fiona took ideas back to Sydney and implemented them there – we must be doing something right! The issues of congestion, pollution and public health are global, so sharing emerging practice internationally helps us all to meet these challenges together. 

“Fiona is a leader in her field, so I was delighted to welcome her to Leicester."

Fiona is going on to present at the International Velo-city Conference as speaker in Arnhem-Nijmegen, the Netherlands, from 13-15th June.

To find out more about cycling in Leicester, visit www.leicester.gov.uk/transport-and-streets/cycling-in-leicester

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