Have your say on the Cycling Delivery Plan

Have your say on the Government's cycling strategy
The Department for Transport has set up a series of public regional workshops where the Goverment's latest draft cycling strategy is up for discussion.

Last week we saw a flurry of activity in Westminster and Whitehall, with a consultation draft of the Government's long awaited Cycling Delivery Plan appearing just minutes before a parliamentary debate on it was due to commence.

CTC's initial reaction was to call it “a derisory plan, not a delivery plan”, largely because it lacked any commitment to sustained Government funding for cycling.

Government has promised long term investment of £24bn for roads and £40bn for High Speed 2 – is it too much to ask for a fraction of these sums to ensure long term funding for cycling?”

Paul Tuohy

Nonetheless, the draft Plan does in effect endorse the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group ‘Get Britain Cycling’ report’s call for funding for cycling of at least £10 per head annually. It describes this figure is merely “aspirational” figure, committing the Government only to "explore" how it might be achieved in partnership with local government, businesses and others.

The glimmer of good news is that the final version of the Plan is due to be published on November 27th, shortly before Chancellor George Osborne makes the last Autumn Statement of the current Parliament.  If the Prime Minister's 'Cycling revolution" is to make progress, he clearly needs to produce some funding for cycling.  CTC believes this is essential if we are to reap the massive benefits that cycling could provide for our streets and communities, the economy and the environment.

Another weakness is the Government’s limited ambition for increased cycle use. The ‘Get Britain Cycling’ report had called for cycling to reach 10% for all trips by 2025 (i.e. more than a quintupling of the current proportion), and 25% of trips by 2050. As research initiated by CTC has demonstrated, reaching these targets could be worth as much as £6bn annually by 2025 in health benefits alone, rising to £25bn annually by 2050.

By contrast, the draft Plan's ambition is merely to double the current number of trips made wholly or partly by cycle (from 0.8bn to 1.6bn trips) by 2025.

It gets worse though. After taking account of population growth, and the expected growth of cycle use in London (where Boris Johnson has committed round £12.50 per person annually for the next 10 years), this 'doubling of cycling trips' amounts to an increase in trips per person outside London of just 74% over the next decade. At this rate of growth, the UK will eventually reach Dutch levels of cycling just before the turn of the 23rd century!

CTC's response to the draft Plan will also highlight the need for consistent design standards to create the conditions where cycling becomes a safe, convenient and enjoyable transport option for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has been clear to stress that the Cycling Delivery Plan is only a draft which will undergo a short four week consultation. As part of this consultation period they will be running a series of six regional workshops, the first of which takes place today in Manchester.

See the Department for Transport's open invitation letter.

CTC will be encouraging key local councillors, including those who supported the CTC-led national Space4Cycling campaign, to attend these events. However these workshops are public forums, so if you wish to attend as a local campaigner or interested party, please let CTC's campaigns team know, via campaigns@ctc.org.uk, We can then provide a digest of the draft Plan, and suggest key points you may wish to raise.