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Julian Sturdy - Strong Voice for York Outer

Julian Sturdy

Member of Parliament for York Outer

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Julian supports disabled cyclists from the York Cycle Campaign

November 26, 2018

Julian recently joined Jamie Wood and Jon Phillip, both members of the York Cycle Campaign, for a bicycle ride in the city centre. This opportunity allowed Julian to experience and gain a better understanding of the importance of cycling for people with disabilities and the access issues they face.

York Cycle Campaign aims to represent everyone who cycles in York. Their goal is to ensure that the facilities for cycling here make it safe, convenient and accessible for absolutely everyone.

The York Cycle Campaign highlights that although cycling is largely perceived as being an activity for fit, healthy and able-bodied people, cycling is increasingly being used as a convenient means of transport by people with disabilities, elderly people, and those of us with less than perfect levels of fitness. Nearly one in five people in the UK have a disability, and electric cycles in particular are opening up new opportunities to a wider range of people.

York cycle campaign member Jamie Wood explains why cycling provides him with a freedom that no other form of transport can match. “Multiple Sclerosis means I can no longer walk more than a few metres. Now cycling has become my main means of getting around and enables me to exercise and challenge myself. Last year I was able to attempt the Coast to Coast bike ride with the support of the disabled cycling charity Empowered People,”.

Fellow cycle campaign member Jon Phillip, finds that cycling enables him to be independent. “I have epilepsy and am not allowed a driving license. Cycling is a vital means of transport for getting to work, leisure (and domestic duties!). It’s lovely to have the freedom to be able to take the children to their activities and explore farther afield without having to rely on other people. Furthermore, cycling (with trains) has enabled me to have solo adventures and explore areas of Scotland, France and Wales which gives me a huge sense of independence and freedom.”

Commenting after the ride, Julian said: “Everyone should have the opportunity to benefit from and enjoy the freedom that cycling brings. I really commend York Cycle Campaign for the work they are doing to make cycling in York safer and more accessible, particularly for those with disabilities.

 It was a pleasure to meet both Jamie and Jon and learn more about how cycling has helped them maintain their freedom and independence whilst living with their conditions. It was also great to hear their views on what can be done to improve the cycling network around York for the benefit of all riders, no matter what their circumstance.”