£20m sounds a lot... but that's what they spend on 40 miles of motorway per year...

The Highways Agency is to invest £10 million a year for two years in strategic cycling improvements across the UK.

In a video, Matt Sweeting, from the Highways Agency, explains where the £20 million will be spent to upgrade cycling facilities on the UK’s roads over the next two years.


The money will help provide access over and under motorways where cyclists are unable to ride.

In the video, Mr Sweeting rides a path near Derby.

He says: “We wanted to solve an existing problem which had to do with there being residential areas and a business areas. A link in between them wasn’t very good so we came up with a scheme that made it easier for cyclists to get to and from work.”

Along with highways engineers, Mr Sweeting has worked to design and create the path, including providing cycle access across a railway bridge.

According to the Highways Agency, the money will provide

new road markings, cycle lane and crossing points
new fly­overs to connect existing national cycle routes
dropped kerbs and vegetation clearance
refreshed and new signage for cyclists and drivers

The Agency is working alongside Sustrans and British Cycling to identify locations where the money can be best spent and the improvements are to be completed by March 2015.

But large as £20 million might sound, the Highways Agency’s total budget for the 4,300 miles of roads it is responsible for (mainly motorways and trunk A-roads) in 2014-15 is £1.9 billion.

That investment is equivalent to £442,000 per mile of motorway per year; a striking contrast to the investment in cycling.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.


levermonkey [681 posts] 3 years ago


southdownswolf [15 posts] 3 years ago

Flat pedals on a Road bike? Tut!  3

Simon E [3179 posts] 3 years ago
levermonkey wrote:


Yep. A drop in the ocean  2

The main man summarised it perfectly on Thursday:


...Still not had anyone explain to me how David Cameron's 'cycling revolution' is going to be realized on £1-2 a head. Next, Leeds!


Rich71 [52 posts] 3 years ago

Peanuts,adding insult to injury,this cretinous amount will just about cover abit of dulux splashed here and there on the fucking road
might aswell put a rope around our necks now
this really is one of the most backward corrupt fucked up countries on Earth
Highways agency my backside

seven [156 posts] 3 years ago

Incoming local rag/Daily Mail articles decrying "gratuitous spending on lycra-clad minorities during times of austerity" in 3... 2... 1...

Das [245 posts] 3 years ago

As long as half of it doesn't get wasted in red tape and planning etc it can only be good. Every little helps.

JeevesBath [195 posts] 3 years ago

Not saying that some more spending on cycling wouldn't be good, but actually, just for the record as a former contractor for the HA your statistics are incorrect. Simply dividing the miles of motorway by the total budget is misleading, as the HA also has to maintain hundreds of bridges and thousands of miles of A road. Then there's the technology (message signs etc), accident clear-up, litter picking... etc etc.

kie7077 [934 posts] 3 years ago

To put things in perspective, 2013-14 budget is £1,700 million, 2014-15 budget is £1,900 million. £10 million is less than 0.6% of that.

From The Times

He said that road designers often had little or no training in how to cater for cyclists. “As a highways engineer myself I spend an awful lot of time designing roundabouts and bridges, actually I didn’t spend a great deal of time at university or subsequently looking at provision for non-motorised users.”

Since £20 million won't actually be enough to build anything much, perhaps the money would be better spent training the 3,400 staff of the Highways Agency and other transport agencies. £20 million could buy a lot of training.

Man of Lard [341 posts] 3 years ago

Highways Agency to invest £20 million in strategic cycling improvements across the UK

Isn't the Highways Agency an "England only" QUANGO (soon to be renamed "Highways England") - if so what remit do they have outside England? (equivalent services in Scotland, NI & Wales being Transport Scotland, NI Roads Service & Department of Economy & Transport)