In today’s Autumn Statement, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced an extra £1.1bn investment in English local roads and retention of the ‘Cycle To Work’ scheme.
Hammond also confirmed the government’s contribution of £9m towards the cost of hosting the Cycling Road World Championships in Yorkshire in 2019, and £15m towards a legacy fund to pay for cycling infrastructure.
Responding to the increased investment in local roads, Cycling UK urged local authorities to use this opportunity to incorporate high quality cycle facilities.
Paul Tuohy, Cycling UK’s CEO, said:
“Local roads are what everyone uses most regularly, but they are so often overlooked when it comes to public spending in place of big budget projects like motorways or A-roads.
“The chancellor’s pledge of £1.1bn to upgrade our local roads is a real opportunity for councils to tackle not just congestion, but also the health issues caused by dire air quality and physical inactivity.
“Local authorities must use these new local road funds to make Space for Cycling at the same time. This would be a cost efficient use of new money that will benefit all road users and the local community.”
The All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group also welcomed the news.
Ruth Cadbury MP (Lab, Brentford and Isleworth) said: “The large investment in local roads could see a revolution in cycling – I hope that towns and cities across England will get the segregated facilities that are needed to increase our cycling rates to European levels.”
Alex Chalk MP (Con, Cheltenham) added: “Retaining the Cycle to Work scheme is vital for encouraging commuting by bike. Millions of people have benefited from the scheme so far and I am delighted that this scheme will continue to support the growth in cycling.”