All-party parliamentary group calls for £10 cycle revolution

(L to R) Ian Austin MP, Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, Dr Julian Huppert MP
The All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group in a letter to The Times presses the case for cycling in the UK.

The future of UK cycling will be decided soon as the Department for Transport brings to a close its consultation on the draft cycling delivery plan. The government has already acknowledged cycling’s health benefits and its high return on investment. While the DfT’s draft plan is a step forward, it is still flawed.

For cycle growth, we need a long term dedicated funding of at least £10 per head a year, which could be met from existing budgets. Cycling and its benefits are not purely a transport issue, and there must be full commitment and collaboration from other government departments in the delivery of the plan.

Overall, the plan must be ambitious, and set itself the target of an increase of cycle use from 2 per cent to 10 per cent of all journeys by 2025 as recommended in the report Get Britain Cycling from the all-party parliamentary cycling group.

Today we call on the government to use this opportunity to create the Prime Minister’s “cycling revolution”.

The Times, p29
17 November 2014

The All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group (APPCG) has once more thrown down the gauntlet to Government to “create the Prime Minister’s ‘cycling revolution’” in a letter published today in The Times.

Signed by the APPCG’s co-chairs Dr Julian Huppert MP (Lib Dem) and Ian Austin MP (Lab), and Treasurer Dr Sarah Wollaston MP (Con), the letter demonstrates the cross party support cycling has on the backbenches.

The letter, printed in full (left), places three asks on Government calling for “dedicated funding of at least £10 per head a year”, departmental collaboration and overall ambitious targets of cycle growth from the current rate of “2 per cent to 10 per cent of all journeys”.

It was published in conjunction with the APPCG’s response to the Department for Transport for the draft Cycling Delivery Plan (CDP) where the group pressed Cycle Minister, Robert Goodwill MP, to use the CDP as the opportunity to create a clear statement of Government’s strategic expectations for local allocation of investment in infrastructure. The APPCG also presses for a national budget line for cycling as enjoyed by all other transport modes.

The APPCG has long been the cycling voice within Westminster, and in 2013 published its Get Britain Cycling report. This report made 18 recommendations for Government including:

  • At least £10 per head a year rising to £20 with cycle growth
  • Cycle growth to 10 per cent of all journeys by 2025 and 25% by 2050
  • High quality routes on existing and future roads

Since the report, the APPCG has tabled several parliamentary debates on cycling. The most recent was on 16 October 2014 which discussed the draft CDP which was published just minutes before the debate started.

CTC has also submitted its detailed response to the draft CDP. Echoing the APPCG, CTC has backed their calls for funding and ambitious targets for cycle growth, while also highlighting the need for a properly funded and supported Active Travel Consortium (ATC). CTC believes that an ATC would provide a valuable mechanism for reporting, monitoring and facilitating the progress of the Government’s cycling strategy.

With the consultation period for the draft CDP now extended from its original deadline on 13 October to 27 November, the future of UK cycling is now very much in the balance.