Just another instance of claiming that there has been a cycling revolution, because there has been some sort of fluctuation in the statistical noise of miserably low cycling rates, from Hansard, 21 May 1985.
Mr James Craigen (Glasgow Maryhill)Mr Eric Forth (Mid Worcestershire)
In the light of what the hon. Gentleman told us about the reduction in, the number of people travelling by bus, how does he account for the reduction in the number of people travelling by bicycle during the same period?
I doubt whether that is true. Recently, there has been a great revival in the use of bicycles, and one need only consider the number of bicycles on the premises to prove the point. Indeed, my hon. Friend the Member for Crawley (Mr. Soames) has recently taken to the bicycle; even among us, there are living examples of people who are taking to two wheels to get around.
Mr David Mitchell (North West Hampshire)
The House should be indebted to the hon. Member for Glasgow, Maryhill (Mr. Craigen) for his intervention because he drew attention to what he referred to as pedal power???those who move about by bicycle. Unfortunately, he misread the document to which he was referring. Table 1 of the White Paper on buses shows that travel by pedal cycle went up from 4 billion passenger kilometres in 1973 to 5 billion in 1983, an increase of 25 per cent. That increase has been due to the deterioration of the availability of buses under the existing system???one of the profound reasons why we have had to introduce this legislation.
The increase in the number of people using bicycles is a mirror image of the decline of 28 per cent. in bus passenger numbers over the past decade, reflected in the huge decline in the number of jobs in the bus industry. That should be a cause of concern to the hon. Member and his hon. Friends.