'Czar' to inspire cyclists

A CYCLING 'czar' has been appointed by Glasgow City Council to get more people on their bikes by 2020.

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Councillor Frank McAveety has been given the job of making cycling the most popular activity in the city.

The former sports minister said he was determined to see biking overtake walking, football, swimming and dancing as the city's favourite sport.

Following the Olympic success of Sir Chris Hoy and the prospect of top-level track cycling at the eponymous velodrome and mountain biking course at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, the campaign hopes to encourage all forms of cycling.

As reported in the Evening Times, Bradley Wiggins' recent victory in the Tour De France resulted in a rise of interest in the sport.

Mr McAveety said: "We are looking for ways we can drive forward radical changes for cycling in the city.

"We realise there are obstacles. Cyclists face potholes and, often, a lack of consideration from motorists, while youngsters who want to take up competitive cycling might struggle to find proper coaching, but these are the things we want to address."

Around 5000 journeys are currently made daily in and out of the city centre by bike, up 50% compared with three years ago, but still less than 2% of all commuting to work, despite Glasgow being voted sixth-most bike-friendly place in the UK.

Katharine Taylor, of transport campaigners Sustrans Scotland, said: "There are wonderful routes along the Clyde and canals but there are no dedicated routes in the city centre.

"We have offered to deliver the cycling strategy in Edinburgh and would like to work more closely with Glasgow because we believe there is scope for improvement."

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