Daniel Zeichner, the Labour MP for Cambridge and Shadow Transport Minister, says the Prime Minister has failed to deliver on promises of a cycling revolution. Expressing concern regarding future levels of funding, he said there was “a real gap between the government’s rhetoric and the reality for cyclists.”
Writing for the Cambridge Cycle Campaign newsletter, Zeichner takes issue with government claims that funding for cycling had risen to £6 per person per year, pointing out that London and the cities which have secured Cycle City Ambition grants drag up the average.
“[F]unding for cycling outside those areas after the Spending Review is projected to be around just a paltry £1.39 per person per year. One pound and thirty-nine pence. It seems this government believes that cycling potential should be restricted merely to London and those other cities they deem worthy of investment.”
Zeichner wrote to ask about funding levels outside London and the Cycle Cities in November and said the government reply was, ‘It is not possible to predict the geographical distribution of other funding for cycling at this stage.’
“So the Department for Transport is unable to predict the outcomes of its own spending commitments. Indeed, funding has been disconnected, split between various initiatives, bundled into grants, not ring-fenced, and data on local authority spending are no longer centrally collated. But what we do know is that the £300 million that has been promised for cycling over this Parliament includes £114 million for the Cycle City Ambition Grants and some £50 million for Bikeability training. What funding, if any, will be left over to fund the investment part of the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy?”
Zeichner has asked the government if they plan for the £300m allocated for cycling in the Spending Review to be the sole source of funding for the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy and how much of that is earmarked for cycling. According to him, “they don’t know, or won’t say. There is a real danger that the government is drawing up an investment strategy with no investment.”