It has also called for central government spending of at least £10 per head of population per year to boost cycle use, increasing this figure as cycle use rises. London has recently announced plans to spend £12.50 per head per year over the next 10 years, whilst the Dutch are spending around £24 per person per year.
The recommendations of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group’s “Get Britain Cycling” inquiry echo calls made by CTC in its written and oral evidence to the inquiry earlier this year. CTC President Jon Snow and Olympic cyclist Chris Boardman were among the inquiry witnesses, together with other cycling and road safety pressure groups, local authorities, health professionals, police forces and academic experts.
MPs and Peers at today’s launch will back calls from CTC and others for 20mph speed limits in urban areas and lower speed limits on country roads, and a transformation of our towns, streets and communities, ensuring that cycling is and feels safe for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.
CTC is also one of several cycling, road safety and motoring groups backing the report’s proposal to make “Bikeability” cycle training available in all primary and secondary schools, arguing that giving people the confidence and skills cycle safely on the roads is as important as teaching them to swim.
Roger Geffen CTC’s Campaigns & Policy Director said:
“MPs and Peers have highlighted the need for Britain to rediscover cycling, after a whole generation of adults has missed out its benefits for our health, our streets, our communities and our wallets.”
“Some of the report’s recommendations are inexpensive ‘quick wins’, such as getting cycling on the curriculum for secondary as well as primary schools, and making 20mph the normal speed limit for most urban streets. Others, like redesigning our roads and junctions to be cycle-friendly, will require sustained investment over many years.
“However, with growing media interest and with our sporting triumphs of 2012 still fresh in the memory, now is the time for David Cameron to fire the starting-gun for action across Whitehall and throughout the country, to ‘Get Britain Cycling’”.
For an overview of the Get Britain Cycling inquiry, and reports of the individual evidence sessions, see www.ctc.org.uk/campaign/get-britain-cycling .
British passion for cycling is growing rapidly, but is still far lower than many other countries. In The Netherlands, 27% of journeys are made by cycle, followed by Denmark on 19%. Even Germany manages 10%, with Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Sweden, Italy and France all lying between 5% and 9%. Britain however languishes towards the lower end of the European league table, with less than 2%.
Some cities are performing well though, having put cycling closer to the heart of transport planning for decades. Oxford and Cambridge boast continental levels of journeys to work made by bike (17% and 30% respectively). Across the country some local authorities are showing that by working together with communities, real improvements can be made – and substantial benefits delivered to cyclists and non-cyclists alike. According to the 2011 Census the numbers of people cycling to work in Brighton has increased by 118% since 2001, in Bristol 99%, Manchester 89%, Newcastle 86%.
In London there are now more bikes than cars crossing the Thames bridges at Blackfriars, Southwark and Waterloo during rush hour. Progress in the borough of Hackney has been particularly impressive. The proportion of commute trips made by the borough’s residents more than doubled – from 6.2% to 14.6% – while car commuting fell by a similar proportion (down from 21.7% to 12.4%). It is now one of the few places in Europe where more people commute by cycle than by car.
Information about recent trends in cycle use in different local areas comes both from the National Travel Survey (NTS) and the Census – see
http://www.ctc.org.uk/surge-in-cycle-use-in-2011  (NTS data) and
http://www.ctc.org.uk/blog/chris-peck/whats-happened-to-cycle-commuting-...  (census data).
For more facts and figures about cycle use in Britain, see http://www.ctc.org.uk/resources/ctc-cycling-statistics .