CTC welcomes £62m cycle spending announcement, but urges consistency
The Government's announcement coincides with the second day of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group’s 'Get Britain Cycling' inquiry, where CTC is giving evidence on cycle safety issues, together with other cycling, road safety and motoring organisations, as well as the Metropolitan Police and Ministry of Justice.
The funding consists of £42 million announced in the Chancellor's autumn statement, plus £20 million announced shortly beforehand by Transport Minister Norman Baker. This funding will be allocated as follows:
- £30m for up to 3 ‘cycling towns’, to show what is possible through a concentrated focus on quality infrastructure and positive promotion of cycling for all.
- £12m to promote cycling in National Parks.
- £15m to go to the 'Community Linking Plans fund'. Some of this will be distributed via the Government-backed Cycle-Rail Working Group (chaired by former Cycling England chair Phillip Darnton) to promote cycle-rail integration. The remainder will be used by Sustrans to develop cycle links that help overcome barriers to cycle travel within or between local communities. This is on top of £15m announced earlier in 2012 for this fund (£8m for Sustrans links, £7m for cycle-rail improvements).
- An additional £5m to go towards cycle-friendly junction redesigns and other safety improvements, on top of £30m of previously announced cycle safety funding (£15m for London, £15m for the rest of England).
We need greater consistency on cycle funding, rather than short-term mini-spurts of cash. Only then will councils really start to develop the skills and the schemes needed for cycling to be seen as a completely normal transport option.
CTC Chief Executive
Whilst welcoming the announcements, CTC believes the Government still needs to substantially ramp up its funding commitments to cycling if it is to boost cycle use in Britain towards German, Danish or Dutch levels. Cycle use in Britain accounts for less than 2% of trips in Britain, compared with around 27% in the Netherlands.
CTC’s Chief Executive Gordon Seabright said:
“CTC is very pleased that the Government is now taking seriously our calls for dedicated cycling funding, and the focus on cycle-friendly cities, junctions and other cycle safety improvements, cycle-rail integration and promoting cycling in National Parks.
“However, we also urge Ministers to recognise that these funding allocations are still pretty small compared with what is really needed to ‘Get Britain Cycling’. Even with this new funding, annual cycle spending in England outside London is still way below the levels of some of our continental neighbours.
“We also need greater consistency on cycle funding, rather than short-term mini-spurts of cash. Only then will councils really start to develop the skills and the schemes needed for cycling to be seen as a completely normal transport option, whose health, money-saving and other benefits can be enjoyed by pretty much anyone in Britain."
Cycle spending in the Netherlands is around £25 per person annually. The Mayor of London has recently announced plans which would amount to around £13 per head, while Coventry has made commitments of around £17 per head. However, for England outside London, the figure is probably still below £2 per head, even with this latest funding.