Sign of The Times as MPs back Cycling UK’s CWIS stance

Crunch time for the future of cycling as Cycle Minister faces APPCG inquiry
As the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group (APPCG) holds its inquiry into England’s first Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy today, Cycling UK’s #morethanmilk action scores a result with over 50 MPs writing to The Times backing our five key milestones

Cycling UK launched its #morethanmilk action last Tuesday evening in an effort to highlight the discrepancy between funding for cycling and for roads.

Government funding for cycling is set to fall to 72p per head for residents in England outside of London by 2020/21, compared to funding of £86 per head for motorways and highways.

Since the launch of #morethanmilk more than 1,800 emails have been sent to MPs in England, asking them to support a joint letter to the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin MP.

The letter, written by Sustrans with support from Cycling UK, outlines five key target areas the forthcoming Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS) must meet if the Government’s worthy ambition of wanting “to make cycling and walking the natural choice for shorter journeys, or as part of a longer journey” is to become reality:

  1. A pathway towards achieving the Government’s ambition for cycling and walking in England
  2. A plan to at least meet clear targets for both cycling and walking and other outcomes
  3. A package of committed Government investment and other potential funding to deliver the strategy
  4. A framework for assessing performance
  5. Independent governance that challenges and supports

These key areas were identified by a coalition of cycling and walking NGOs and charities, which included Cycling UK. 

The letter is expected to be delivered to the Transport Secretary today with close to 60 Parliamentarian signatures, thanks to input from Cycling UK’s campaigns team and the 1,800 supporters who took part in #morethanmilk. Additionally, The Times published a letter in today’s paper calling on the Government to support our five asks. This letter received the backing of 52 MPs and peers.

Signatories included rising stars from the Conservative backbenches Dr Sarah Wollaston, Nicola Blackwood and Flick Drummond, Lib Dem leader Tim Farron and Shadow Transport Secretary Lillian Greenwood and Shadow Home Office Minister Keir Starmer.

This high level of cross-party support from MPs demonstrates that cycling in England is not about party politics, but is a matter of genuine concern for a sizeable proportion of the elected Westminster body.

It sets the scene well ahead of the afternoon’s main action as the APPCG holds its inquiry on the CWIS. Cycling UK’s policy director, Roger Geffen MBE, will join other experts and the Cycling Minister Robert Goodwill in presenting evidence from 1.30pm today (23 May).

Cycling UK is expecting to push hard on the point that funding for cycling and walking, which will also benefit our local road networks, should not lose out to projects which will effectively gold-plate our motorways. In addition, Cycling UK believes that for public money to be spent wisely and well, decent national design standards are also required.

Cycling UK will report live from the event via Twitter from @weareCyclingUK