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A failure by successive governments, according to Cycling UK

The latest government figures reveal that despite much positive talk, cycling still accounts for just two per cent of all journeys in England – a level that’s remained static since 1989. The national cycling charity, Cycling UK, says that this is the effect of a long term failure by successive governments.

Although the distance cycled overall and per trip increased from 2006 to 2016, this corresponds with cyclists travelling further rather than more people taking up cycling.

The number of cycling trips has fluctuated between 14 and 18 trips per person per year over the same period and was 15 in 2016.

The figures also indicate that men cycle three times more often and four times further than women and Cycling UK is particularly concerned that any growth in cycling appears mainly to be among white males, suggesting an ongoing decline among women, children and people of diverse backgrounds.

The charity’s policy director, Roger Geffen, said of cycling levels: “This flatlining is clearly indicative of a long-term failure to invest in cycling and walking by successive governments.

“Cycling UK wants to see more women, children and people of diverse backgrounds out cycling – when we have an increase in their numbers we will know government is on the right track.”

While casualty figures show cycling is “a safe way of travelling and serious accidents are rare”, 68 per cent of adult women say the roads are too dangerous compared to 50 per cent of men.

England’s Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy will see annual Government spending on cycling outside London drop to just 72p per head in two years’ time.

The mayors of London and Greater Manchester are investing £17 per head, while Scotland plans to invest £15 per head for the whole country.

Geffen added: “Air pollution, congestion, physical inactivity: all impose increasing costs on society. The country needs more people cycling and walking. Government and local authorities need to wake up to their benefits, and start making the significant investment necessary to make them the natural choice for shorter journeys.”

You can get more a breakdown of the latest government figures via this interactive map.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

14 comments

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burtthebike [1386 posts] 1 month ago
7 likes

"The charity’s policy director, Roger Geffen, said of cycling levels: “This flatlining is clearly indicative of a long-term failure to invest in cycling and walking by successive governments.""

Roger is right and this is the failure of all governments for the past fifty years at least.  We get lots of rhetoric, but no money.  All the talk about environment and health and all the research studies demonstrating the overwhelming benefits have made absolutely no difference, and there is no sign of change.  You could power the UK with the amount of hot air from politicians about cycling, but then they go and build more roads, frequently making things more dangerous and difficult for cyclists.

If only they spent as much time doing as talking, we'd have the finest cycle network in the world, and I have this terrible foreboding about the forthcoming parliamentary inquiry, which I predict will do nothing useful and impose unnecessary restrictions on cycling.

I'm beginning to come over to the idea of revolution.

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Luca Patrono [4 posts] 1 month ago
8 likes

But investment, when it happens, is no guarantee of usable infrastructure, good faith or smart design. Terrible compromises are made with cycle infrastructure and the resulting lack of use is manipulated politically to justify lower investment.

Until designers nationwide, not just in London, understand the fallacy of the middle ground and realise that compromises absolutely cannot be made if cycling is to be promoted to people outside of its traditional base, nothing will change regardless of levels of investment. As someone cycling in and around Bradford and Leeds, the Cycle Superhighway is a constant reminder of this.

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Duncann [1214 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes
burtthebike wrote:

I'm beginning to come over to the idea of revolution.

Unless you have some WMD to hand, you'd need lots of supporters for a successful revolution - I fear many of The People would rather rise up against serious cycling infrastructure than for it.

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burtthebike [1386 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes
Duncann wrote:
burtthebike wrote:

I'm beginning to come over to the idea of revolution.

Unless you have some WMD to hand, you'd need lots of supporters for a successful revolution - I fear many of The People would rather rise up against serious cycling infrastructure than for it.

Oh I don't know.  Just how much chaos do you think it would cause if you strapped a couple of empty boxes to a motorway bridge?

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Duncann [1214 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
burtthebike wrote:

Oh I don't know.  Just how much chaos do you think it would cause if you strapped a couple of empty boxes to a motorway bridge?

Chaos sure. But better cycling infrastructure?

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burtthebike [1386 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
Duncann wrote:
burtthebike wrote:

Oh I don't know.  Just how much chaos do you think it would cause if you strapped a couple of empty boxes to a motorway bridge?

Chaos sure. But better cycling infrastructure?

And WMDs would achieve better cycling infrastructure how exactly?  Especially when you've destroyed most of it.

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fukawitribe [2137 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
burtthebike wrote:
Duncann wrote:
burtthebike wrote:

Oh I don't know.  Just how much chaos do you think it would cause if you strapped a couple of empty boxes to a motorway bridge?

Chaos sure. But better cycling infrastructure?

And WMDs would achieve better cycling infrastructure how exactly?  Especially when you've destroyed most of it.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutron_bomb

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kevvjj [329 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes
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burtthebike [1386 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
kevvjj wrote:

Oslo. It can be done.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuboGpL3de4

Wow!  Thank you so much for sharing that, and I've just put it on my fb page.  Be great if everyone reading this thread did the same.

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fatsmoker [30 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

Great vid about Oslo. For as long as the UK has crap public transport, people will use cars. My commute is 15 miles. 1 hour by bike, 1 hour 20 by bus, 20 mins train but £12 a day. Car takes 50 to 60 mins. I ride, obviously, but the other options push people to their cars.

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Fenson [1 post] 1 month ago
1 like

Bucks County Council have a few pennies to spend. Please respond to the consultation before Wednesday 24th January.

https://www.buckscc.gov.uk/services/transport-and-roads/strategic-economic-plan/a413-sustainable-travel-scheme/

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ChrisB200SX [626 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
fatsmoker wrote:

Great vid about Oslo. For as long as the UK has crap public transport, people will use cars. My commute is 15 miles. 1 hour by bike, 1 hour 20 by bus, 20 mins train but £12 a day. Car takes 50 to 60 mins. I ride, obviously, but the other options push people to their cars.

Does your 20 minute train journey include time to get to the station and time to get from the other station to your place of work? Also, does the non-train part of the journey time include cycling anyway?

 

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BehindTheBikesheds [1344 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

The crazy thing with trains is that I can get a 300 mile return for £32-£40 but a 30 mile return same day costs £12.
I got a train with bike for New Years, I was surprised at the £6 cost for 3/4 stops and circa 12/15 miles (same cost to stop before in the village before but equi distance to friends house).
However for commuting purposes the trains at peak times are at virtual capacity, there's not much option for some as trauns can make things more convoluted.
I'm not surprised numbers cycling is static, what is invested in infra is mostly just shit and not fit for purpose and even then motorists actions on the roads simply put people off altogether even if there is some there.
Then you have schools forcing kids to wear helmets et al, even bikeability indoctrination of wearing helmets and hi-vis works against cycling uptake.
This is a culmination of many actions and lots of inaction as well as treacherous decision making including that of sustrans and ctc/cuk. They backed the likes of the Bedford 'turbo' roundabout which made it more dangerous, more convoluted for people on bikes and yet the 'cycling' money wasmostly spent on getting people on bikes out the way and Iincreasing motorised traffic flow.
Fucking depressing!

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congokid [328 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes
burtthebike wrote:

I'm beginning to come over to the idea of revolution.

For me, it's looking more like 'Don't revolt, relocate...'.

I'm increasingly pessimistic about seeing or using any worthwhile 'all ages and abilities' infra outside London within my lifetime.