Who was campaigning for separated cycleways in the 1970s?

Dutch people, of course, but also plenty of Brits. In fact, the British bicycle industry had a ten year long PR campaign that had separation-from-motor-traffic right at the top of its shopping list. Most folks have forgotten about this now, and it’s assumed – and too often written – that there was no real push for separated cycling infrastructure in Britain until sometime after 2006.

Below are some newspaper cuttings and extracts from a couple of mid-1970s leaflets from the British Cycling Bureau, a PR outfit paid for by the Bicycle Association of Great Britain, and which successfully plugged cycling in the mass media of the day.

What the BCB didn’t get were the separated cycleways it pushed for most of all. Why? Motor-centrism. The only successful insertion of cycling in the 1978 Transport Bill was a lonely mention of bicycle parking. I’ll be discussing this and much more at a talk for the Oxford cycle campaign tonight. I’m digging up lots of these nuggets, many of which will make it into my Bike Boom book, due out next year.

Cycling and the Environment, British Cycling Bureau, 1977

Cycling and Traffic, British Cycling Bureau, 1977

Special byways for cyclists to segregate them from motor vehicles, Daily Telegraph, 1974

National Plan For Cycling, British Cycling Bureau, mid-1970s

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