Bikeability ring-fenced for current Parliament
"Larger funding streams" promised for sustainable transport
As the abolition of Cycling England is confirmed today, the Department for Transport has told road.cc that the Bikeability cycle-training scheme will continue in its present form the duration of the current Parliament, with its funding ring-fenced.
The operation of the scheme will now be brought under wing of the DfT but there are no guarantees about its long term future, or that of the cycling towns and cycling city established under Cycling England.
A DfT spokeswoman explained that details of funding for the new Local Sustainable Transport Fund will be announced as part of the Comprehensive Spending Revue on October 20.
So far not much is known about how the new Fund will operate. Local Transport Minister Norman Baker said:
"It is at a local level that most can be done to change patterns of behaviour and encourage more sustainable travel, especially for short journeys.
"And in an environment of tighter budgets and greater local flexibility, the Government is determined to reduce bureaucracy and make local transport funding more efficient.
“That is why we intend to pool the myriad of centrally funded local transport grants, to create fewer but larger funding streams, largely formula based, and a new Local Sustainable Transport Fund."
The fear for many, however, could be that if its promotion is effectively devolved to a local level, cycling will slide down the political agenda in those areas where it is not considered by local politicians to be a vote-winner.