1. The parliamentary Get Britain Cycling inquiry was conducted by the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group (APPCG), running from January to March 2013. The ensuing report, published in April 2013, called for annual investment in cycling of at least £10 per person, rising to £20 as cycle use increases, in order to raise cycle use from 2% of trips at present to 10% (nearly German levels) by 2025 and to 25%.
Other recommendations covered the need for leadership and cross-departmental commitment, consistently high cycle-friendly design standards, cycle safety (including traffic law and enforcement, and lorries), and positive promotion of cycling for people of all ages and backgrounds.
2. The Get Britain Cycling inquiry prompted David Cameron to announce in August 2013 that he wished to launch a “Cycling revolution”. This was accompanied by an award of Cycle City Ambition Grant funding for 8 cities (Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, Cambridge, Oxford and Bristol amounting to an average of £10 per person for 1/10th of Britain’s population for 2 years.
The Department for Transport also promised a Cycling Delivery Plan, which was originally due to appear last autumn. The draft Plan was belatedly published for consultation on 16 October, the day on which MPs were due to debate it. Members of the APPCG shared the dismay of CTC and other cycling groups that it merely set out “an aspiration to work with local government and businesses to explore how we can achieve a minimum funding packet equivalent to £10 per person each year by 2020-21”.
3. Recent evidence from the Department for Transport shows that investing in cycling typically delivers over £5 worth of health and other benefits for every £1 spent. This is significantly above the typical benefit-to-cost ratios for major road and rail schemes, where a ratio of 2:1 is considered “good” and 4:1 is “very good”. The Government is committed to a £24bn roads programme and £40bn for the HS2 rail link.
4. CTC, the UK’s largest cycling charity, inspires and helps people to cycle and keep cycling, whatever kind of cycling they do or would like to do. We have been around since 1878 and a charity for only two years.
• We provide expert, practical help and advice.
• We support individuals and communities.
• We protect cyclists’ interests.
• We campaign to make cycling mainstream and to remove the things that stop people cycling.
• We help people develop the confidence and skills to cycle.
• We promote the benefits of cycling to individuals, to society and to the economy.