Cycling & Walking Investment Strategy agreed
On the eve of Monday 26 January cycling in the UK reached a turning point, as a Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy was voted into the Infrastructure Bill by the House of Commons.
The vote came less than a week after CTC unveiled new research by Leeds University showing that, if England were to meet the targets for increased cycle use by 2050 as proposed in the parliamentary 'Get Britain Cycling' report, this would yield economic benefits worth £248bn between now and then. The Get Britain Cycling report proposed raising cycle use from 2% of trips at present, to 10% (below German levels) by 2025 and to 25% (nearly Dutch levels) by 2050.
The Government’s change of course is a credit to the cross-party members of the all-party cycling group; to cycling groups such as British Cycling and the CTC; to transport campaigners such as Living Streets, Sustrans, the Campaign for Better Transport and the Campaign to Protect Rural England; and the Richmond group of health charities.”
Richard Burden MP
Shadow Minister for Transport
This research prompted nearly 6,000 CTC members and supporters to email their MPs, urging them to support the inclusion of an amendment to the Infrastructure Bill that would create a Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy.
On Thursday 22 January, after months of opposition to an investment strategy, the Government announced an amendment which saw its inclusion in Monday’s debate. This amendment closely mirrored that of Dr Julian Huppert MP who had introduced a private amendment earlier that week on Monday and signalled the success of the joint campaigning of CTC and the coalition (including Sustrans, Campaign to Protect Rural England, Living Streets, Campaign for Better Transport and the Richmond Group of Charities) and all their supporters.
Recognising the hard work of all involved, Roger Geffen, CTC Campaign and Policy Director said, "Credit must be given to the Government backing of it, MPs such as Dr Julian Huppert who fought so hard for it, and the thousands of people who worked to make this happen."
Now is no time for resting on our laurels. With the general election only months away CTC will be looking to secure commitments of how much funding each party would put into the investment strategy.
While Tuesday morning would have witnessed celebrations across the offices of all campaigning groups involved, there is widespread recognition that the job is still not finished. Though a commitment to a Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy is all but in place, a figure has still not been attached to what this level of investment will be.
CTC and partners will continue to campaign for the recommendations made in the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group's Get Britain Cycling inquiry of £10 per head per year, rising to £20 as cycle use continues. Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has already declared that it would be "suicide" for political parties not to include funding commitments for cycling, and CTC will look to maintain similar pressure over the next 99 days building up to 07 May.