CycleDigest July 2013
From the Editor
It's been hard to settle on an accurate level of optimism for cycling lately.
We've just welcomed the fact that a date has been set for Westminster MPs to debate the findings of the 'Get Britain Cycling' report - an important development as not only had we been suffering from serious disappointment that the Treasury forgot about cycling in the Spending Review, but we'd also found that the risk of cycling appears to be going up.
It's good, then, that most Police and Crime Commissioners gave our first Road Justice report a positive reception; that the Department for Transport has said that the major road network is to be 'cycle-proofed' in future; and now we're eagerly anticipating an announcement about cycling from PM David Cameron in August.
Indeed, we like to think that happier times for funding are round the corner and that in next month's Digest, we'll be able to report that the outlook for cycling is brighter as a result. The ladies on the right are happy at the prospect, as well as enjoying a summer cycle ride.
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Despite huge numbers of signatures - almost 70,000 - on a petition in support of Get Britain Cycling, the outlook for a funding boost looked bleak at the end of June. The Chancellor and his Chief Secretary made statements that promised £billions for extra road capacity and the HS2 rail link, but failed to promise anything specifically for cycling.
The prospect of large road schemes is always alarming because they can be detrimental to cycling by, for example, severing routes. These worries have been somewhat allayed by ‘Action for Roads: a network for the 21st century' from the DfT, which mentions ‘cycleproofing’ the major road network (England) and correcting "historic problems."
It seems, though, that more positive news may be on the way – according to The Times, Number 10 has confirmed that Cameron will make an announcement on cycling in early August. The winners of the Government's Cycle City and National Parks Challenge funds are also still awaited.
On 2 September, the Chamber of the House of Commons will be the setting for a high profile debate and vote on the findings of the Get Britain Cycling report.
The report, published by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Cycling (APPCG) in April, compiled evidence from a wide variety of cycling experts, including representatives from CTC.
To turn Get Britain Cycling's ambitions into reality, political commitment is crucial and we hope that Parliament will lead the way.
In August, we’ll be rallying supporters to get in touch with their MPs about the debate once we know what the PM has said (see story above).
On 11 July, CTC campaigners and victims of cycling road crashes met with Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) across England and Wales to hand in the first of CTC’s Road Justice reports.
The report examines how roads policing needs to improve to keep cyclists safe and ensure that irresponsible drivers are brought to justice.
On the whole, PCCs were very welcoming - they took the time to find out more, be photographed and hear the personal experiences of CTC members. (Photo: Sarah-Charlotte Peace with West Mercia's PCC, Bill Longmore).
CTC’s Road Justice campaign, sponsored by Slater & Gordon Lawyers, is urging the institutions that make up the justice system to adopt policies and practices that take bad driving seriously. The website also offers advice and has an online reporting tool.