CTC says that delay in the government drawing up its Cycling and Walking Delivery Plan is acting as a “slow puncture” to getting more people on bikes. The national cycling charity has today launched a campaign to urge the Treasury to put money aside for cycling when Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne makes his Autumn Statement next month.
It’s now more than a year since Prime Minister David Cameron promised a “cycling revolution” in response to the Get Britain Cycling report published in April 2013 by the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group.
That report, which followed a six-week Parliamentary Inquiry, called for sustained investment of £10 per head per year initially to take cycling’s share of journeys up to 10 per cent by 20202.
However, neither the Coalition Government – nor, it has to be said, the Labour Party which says it broadly supports the recommendations of the report – has committed to that level of funding.
With a little more than six months to go until the May 2015 General Election, CTC says it is worried that no agreement has been reached over the money that may be made available, and in response has launched its #Funding4Cycling campaign.
The initiative urges cyclists and those who support bikes as a means of transport to state their case to the Treasury, which is inviting submissions from the public by 17 October ahead of the Autumn Statement, which the Chancellor will make to Parliament on 3 December.
Submissions to the Treasury can be made through a dedicated website CTC has set up for the purpose, which you can find at www.funding4cycling.org.uk.
CTC’s chief executive, Paul Tuohy, said: “The Government’s cycling policy is like a bike with a slow puncture: it’s totally deflated and failing to make progress. Long term annual funding of at least £10 per person is the repair kit needed to get it rolling again.
“Officials at the Department for Transport clearly understand the measures needed for cycling to become a normal activity for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.
“However, that only going to happen if ministers and all relevant departments – including the Treasury – can agree on a plan and the funding needed to deliver it,” he added.
In March this year, when he was invited by the APPCG to speak before an audience of cycle campaigners and media including road.cc, transport minister Robert Goodwill insisted that the government's Cycle City Ambition scheme would enable spend of £10 per head per year.
However, he was quickly taken to task by CTC's Roger Geffen, who reminded the minister that the level of spend was sought at nationwide level and each year, rather than being restricted to certain places over a fixed period.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.