Cambridge MP Dr Julian Huppert, co-chair of the All-Parliamentary Cycling Group, has tabled a three-hour debate on cycle safety in Westminster Hall in the Houses of Parliament on Thursday 23 February.
The debate, which builds in the proposals put forward in The Times newspaper’s Cities Fit For Cycling campaign, will enable MPs to debate issues surrounding cycle safety and obtain responses from transport minister Norman Baker, whose portfolio includes cycling.
Dr Huppert has also welcomed yesterday’s announcement by Mr Baker, like him a Liberal Democrat, that £15 million was being made available by the Department for Transport (DfT) for sustainable travel initiatives.
£8 million of that money will go to Sustrans, to enable the charity to deliver projects similar to some of those under its Connect2 programme, part-funded by the £50 million Big Lottery Fund grant it won through the ITV1 People’s Millions Lottery contest in December 2007.
According to the DfT, the new routes will “further [build] on the Department’s investment in Links to Schools, which have seen the construction of safe, traffic free and traffic calmed routes for cyclists and pedestrians between schools and the National Cycle Network.”
Meanwhile, £7 million will go to the Cycle Rail Working Group and will be spent on “improving integration between cycle and rail at stations across the country, including through improved cycle facilities at stations.”
The DfT added: “This additional sum will complement other projects already being delivered by Network Rail, who are themselves delivering a £7m programme of cycle facilities at stations and safe access routes to stations,” and that details of specific projects would be revealed next month.
Commenting on the news, Dr Huppert said: “Promoting cycling and green transport is the right thing to do and I am delighted Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government are taking action.
“This comes at a crucial time. Just five days ago The Times launched a cycle campaign in response to the shocking increase in fatalities among cyclists on our roads.
“It is absolutely essential people should be able to walk to work or cycle to school in a safe environment. The extra £8m for Sustrans will go a long way to achieving this.
“And the £7m for improved rail-cycle links will ensure that we continue to build a transport network which puts passengers first.”
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.