LCC urges London cyclists to lobby councils using new guide
New LCC guide to help prioritise cycling in transport strategies

Cyclists have been urged to ensure their borough councils prioritise cycling in their transport strategies before September 21. The London Cycling Campaign (LCC) has come up with a new guide that offers insider information and help on how to encourage councils to invest in cycling.

This year funding for cycling will no longer be allocated centrally by the mayor, with each borough setting aside a portion of its own transport budget, so it’s up to cyclists to ensure councillors have a cycling strategy in place in their area. Transport strategies will be decided before September 21. The LCC’s Rough Guide to Local Implementation Plans (LIPs) can be downloaded from the LCC website, www.lcc.org.uk.

LCC cycling development officer Charlie Lloyd said: “It's now really important that cyclists engage with councillors and council officers to ensure there is a cycling strategy in their area. At the very least, we must ensure we protect existing plans to implement the London Cycle Network (LCN).”

London Boroughs are being asked to produce transport plans next month, and tell Transport for London (TfL) how they will spend their funding allocations, so it is vital cyclists ensure TfL money is being spent on meeting the Mayor’s own transport goals.

The funding process for cycling in boroughs has changed. Whereas in years gone by borough cycling money was ring-fenced – which means a certain amount of money was allocated for, and had to be spent on, cycling – now that is not the case and boroughs can choose how they wish to allocate the cash, meaning that some could in theory choose to allocate nothing at all for cycling projects.

To secure money in your borough for cycling you need to take action as soon as possible and work with your cycling/transport officer and sympathetic councillors on ensuring that cycling projects feature in the borough’s spending plan.

London Borough Councils are the last in the country to get the freedom in how they spend money. All English Highway Authorities outside London are now beginning to write their new Local Transport Plans (LTPs) in response to recently issued guidance from the Department for Transport.

Local highway authorities have to submit their LTPs next Summer in time for them to be approved before their current LTPs expire in April 2011, so this is the last chance to support local campaigners for cycling and other sustainable transport to influence their LTPs in a co-ordinated way.

If you would like to learn more about how to get serious about cutting carbon from local transport then Friends of the Earth, Campaign for Better Transport, CTC, Sustrans, and CPRE are holding two local transport activist days in September – on September 19 in Manchester and September 26 in London.

The agenda and online booking form for the seminars on influencing your Local Transport Plan are available at http://www.foe.co.uk/community/news/ltp_day_21085.html