The Department for Transport (DfT) is set to miss a target of doubling the number of cycling journeys by 2025 because not enough is being spent on dedicated infrastructure, reports The Times.
The Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, published in 2017, said it expected the number of journeys made by bike to rise from 800 million in 2013 to 1.6 billion by 2025.
However, according to National Travel Survey statistics, in 2017 some 991 million trips were made. Should that rate of growth continue in the coming years, the figure would increase to 1.27 billion.
The Times cited a recent government report that acknowledged that at the current level of funding, the target will not be met, with the blame put on local councils for not investing in cycling ingfrastructure.
Also, since the £1.2 billion funding for cycling and walking for the five years to 2020/21 is not ringfenced, councils are able to use it to on other services where they deem the money would be better spent.
A DfT spokesperson claimed that during the lifetime of the current Parliament, which should it run its full, five-year term will be in place until 2022, £2 billion was being spent on “active travel” which was double that spent in the previous five years.
Cycling UK, however, pointed out that investment is inconsistent across the country and that the huge sums being spent on cycling in cities such as Greater Manchester and London masked falls in spend in less populated areas.
Last year, it said that while the mayors of those two cities were spending £17 per person per year on cycling, in England outside London the average was just 72 pence.
The charity also called for a more inclusive approach to be taken, saying that cycling “is still seen as a male-dominated activity. We need better community projects if we are going to get, for example, more women and older people cycling.”
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.