Chris Boardman, policy advisor to British Cycling, says it’s “ridiculous” that the government is spending billions of pounds on building roads instead of making walking and cycling a priority.
In an interview with the Radio Times ahead of this weekend’s Prudential RideLondon, in which he is participating, the former world and Olympic champion said it was “not logical or sustainable” to continue to favour cars over other forms of transport.
He said: "Seeing something on the scale of RideLondon is an impetus for change. It puts pressure on politicians to make cycling more accessible.
"It infuriates me that it's so hard to get the government to fund and prioritise something that has no downsides. Instead we're building more roads while car traffic's dropping. It's ridiculous.
"The logical thing is to make cycling and walking your preferred transport. You make sure that streets prioritise people over vehicles. You legislate and fund accordingly.
He added: "Walking, cycling, public transport, taxis, private cars. In that order. At the moment it's almost totally the other way round. It's not logical or sustainable."
Boardman, who besides his world and Olympic titles also wore the leader’s yellow jersey in the Tour de France and held the UCI Hour record, also said that despite the high profile cycling currently enjoys due to Britain’s sporting success, his main aim was to get people to adopt bicycles as an everyday mode of transport.
Earlier this year, he was at the House of Commons to help launch British Cycling’s ten-point #ChooseCycling manifesto.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.