Assuming that this is for the next five years and is not intended to cover London, CTC calculates that it amounts to annual spending by national Government of just £1.39 per person annually in England.
CTC, the national cycling charity, responded by declaring that the “Prime Minister’s ‘Cycling Revolution’ has been punctured by Osborne”.
While big budget projects such as £15bn for the road network and High Speed 2 benefited from the Chancellor’s largesse, cycling, walking and buses all appear to have lost out.
The Government is due to provide a fuller “Statement of Available Funds” (SOFA) for its promised Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS). This could include additional money for maintaining cycle facilities from the pothole fund also announced by the Chancellor, and aspirations to secure further funding from local authorities. However, it is hard to see it coming anywhere close to the minimum of £10 per person annually, as called for by the parliamentary ‘Get Britain Cycling’ report.
Paul Tuohy, CTC Chief Executive, said:
Today we saw the Prime Minister’s ‘Cycling Revolution’ punctured by his friend, the Chancellor, George Osborne, and we can’t even afford a puncture repair kit."
Paul Tuohy, CTC CEO
“Today we saw the Prime Minister’s ‘Cycling Revolution’ punctured by his friend, the Chancellor, George Osborne, and we can’t even afford a puncture repair kit.
“This is not, however, about the end to a Prime Minister’s vanity project but a disaster to one of the biggest and most worthwhile projects of all.
“Cycling provides an incredibly cost-effective solution for our polluted air and congested roads, it defuses the ticking time bomb of an impending obesity epidemic, and it makes simple economic sense. Yet realising these benefits requires funding and leadership, which the Chancellor has conspicuously failed to provide.
“This Government made a manifesto commitment to double cycle use and reduce serious and fatal injuries for cyclists and other road users. Yet it is hard to see how they can achieve this with such a tiny budget.
"Vulnerable road users now account for 60% of serious and fatal road casualties, up from 52% in recent years. We were promised safer roads, yet it seems we’re just getting more roads and more traffic. This has to be bad for our health and our environment, and will probably harm our economy too.”
CTC is urging cyclists and supporters to email their MP to support the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group’s letter to the Chancellor calling for at least £10 per head per year for cycling via its online action Funding for Cycling ahead of the Department for Transport's Statement of Funding Available for cycling due shortly.