Shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald has said that a future Labour government would spend £10 per person per year on cycling and walking in England.
He made the announcement at a rally organised by Cycling UK and Brighton cycle campaign group Bricycles outside the Labour Party Conference yesterday evening.
McDonald, who is MP for Middlesbrough, said: "Our country is blighted by illegal air pollution, crippling congestion and a public health crisis. Cycling and walking can holistically address all these issues in an efficient, cost-effective way.
"Labour is committed to ensuring that potential is met and is committed to revolutionising our transport system through cycling and walking."
The rally was held to highlight the Space for Cycling campaign, initially launched by the London Cycling Campaign and subsequently taken nationwide by Cycling UK, with Brighton and Hove the first city outside London to adopt it.
In its 2013 report Get Britain Cycling, the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group called for spend on cycling to be raised to £10 per person per year, ultimately increasing to £20,
While former Prime Minister David Cameron said in 2015 that the government planned to raise spend on cycling to £10 per person per year, the amount allocated to cycling in most of the country remains woefully short of that figure.
According to Cycling UK, from 2010/11 to 22014/15, Department for Transport (DfT) per capita spend on cycling (excluding London) was £1.90 annually.
Adding in local spend the national figure was equivalent to £6.70 per person in 2015/16.
However, that figure will be skewed heavily by the inclusion of the Cycle City Ambition cities as well as London, which is home to around one in six people in England and alone has annual spend of £17 per person.
Earlier this year, the government published its long-awaited Cycling & Walking Investment Strategy, which pledged £1.2 billion to cycling and walking outside London over the next five years, which works out at a little over £5 per person per year.
Labour MP for Leeds North and APPCG treasurer Fabian Hamilton commented: "As a longstanding member of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group, I am thrilled to hear our shadow transport secretary pledge £10 per head for cycling and walking if elected.
“We need a radical shift in our transport system and we are committed to making sure that happens."
Cycling UK’s Space for Cycling campaigner Tom Guha added: “This is a landmark announcement from the Labour Party.
“Around the country, local political leaders have been doing their best to invest properly in cycling to unlock the many benefits it can bring.
“However, it is national funding like this that is necessary if we are to see the cycling revolution we so desperately need.”
In the Netherlands, estimated spend on cycling per head of population is £24 a year while in Denmark it is £17 – although both countries have a four decade or so head start on England in terms of building infrastructure for people on bikes.
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.