CTC urges MPs to back long-term funding for PM's "Cycling Revolution"

The PM's £77m allows 8 cities, covering 6.3m people, to start taking up cycling
CTC, the national cycling charity, welcomes David Cameron’s call to kick-start a 'cycling revolution', and urges MPs and councils to take action now to deliver the programmes and the funding required for it to become a reality.

The funding announcement includes tens of millions of pounds for 8 English 'cycling cities', cash to 'cycle-proof' major roads, and a continuation of cycle training.

However, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has acknowledged that "It's just a start".

On the 2nd of September MPs will debate the state of cycling, including the funding announcement, in a special, three hour debate. Over 2,000 CTC members wrote to their MPs asking them to attend the debate and CTC has heard back from 50 MPs who hope to attend the debate.

The Government's commitments

The Prime Minister's announcement - made at the start of August - includes £77.2 million of central Government funding over 2 years, so that 8 key cities can start to 'Get Britain Cycling'.  A further £16.8m will support the promotion of cycling in 4 national parks. Together with £54.4m of local matched funding, the Government describes the £148.4m total as Britain's "biggest ever single injection of cash for cycling." In addition, the Highways Agency has said it will invest a further £4.8m in 2014/15 - rising to £15m the following year - to improve cycle safety and accessibility along or across 14 trunk road and motorway corridors.

David Cameron also called on councils to “cycle-proof” all highway and traffic schemes – making sure that high standards of cycle-friendliness are designed in at the outset. He confirmed that the Highways Agency would “cycle-proof” future schemes to improve cycle travel along or across trunk and motorway corridors. He also announced a cycle-friendly schools competition, a 1-year extension in the Government's funding commitment to 'Bikeability' cycle training (seeing it through to 2016), and a feasibility study for improved provision (including links to local stations) along the corridor of the High Speed 2 rail line.

David Cameron has shown the leadership that CTC and other cycling groups have long called for, with funding to allow 8 English cities to start to ‘Get Britain Cycling’.

CTC now urges MPs of all parties to speak up for cycling in Parliament in September, calling for the funding needed to transform Britain's streets into a continental-style ‘Cycletopia’. With growing political support for cycling, this really might now be possible."

Professor David Cox OBE
Chair, CTC

The Government is expected to announce its response to the report of the parliamentary 'Get Britain Cycling' inquiry shortly before the September debate. It intends to work up a cross-departmental cycling action plan by December.  CTC looks forward to contributing to its development, seeing this as an opportunity to work with local authority organisations and others to ensure that the process of “cycle-proofing” delivers high standards of cycle-friendly planning and design, and that schools, employers, public transport operators, law enforcement bodies and others all play their part in building a truly cycle-friendly nation.

How much does it add up to?

CTC has long argued for sustained investment in cycling of at least £10 per person annually, to start catching up with our continental neighbours - and that this should rise as cycle use grows (this is also what's recommended by the 'Get Britain Cycling' inquiry report).  The Government has claimed that today's announcement achieves this £10ph figure; however CTC calculates that it actually falls slightly short of this (see below). The Government points out though that those cities had of course made previous commitments on cycling spending, which would take them past the £10ph milestone.

Viewed positively though, today's announcement is an acknowledgement by the Prime Minister of the importance of this milestone.  In a Times article today (12.8.13), Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin MP has said that "It's a start, I know, not the finish line", and that "I want to do more".  It's now up to us to urge our MPs to persuade him to do so!

Funding breakdown

The Government had previously earmarked £30m to be awarded to 2 or 3 cycling cities, plus £12m for 3 national parks.  However today's announcement includes £52m of new money, allowing 8 cities to have their 2-year funding bids supported in full.

The Government says the total cities allocation of £122.6m over 2 years amounts to over £10 per head annually. CTC calculates this as £9.71 per head for the combined populations of the 8 cities concerned (6.3m people, amounting to 1/10 of Britain's population - see below).

The areas to receive funding are:

  • Greater Manchester: £20m national funding + £11.1m local funding = £31.1m; population 2.68m, = annual spend of £5.80 per person.
  • West Yorkshire: £18.1m national funding, £11.2m local funding = £29.3m; population (Leeds plus Bradford) 1.28m, = annual spend of £11.45 per person.
  • Birmingham: £17.0m national funding + £7.3m local funding = £24.3m; population 1.07m, = annual spend of £11.31 per person.
  • West of England: £7.8m national funding + £3.3m local funding = £11.1m; population 512,000 (Bristol, Bath and S Gloucestershire) = annual spend of £10.84 per person.
  • Newcastle: £5.7m national funding + £6.0m local funding = £11.7m; population 280,000, = annual spend of £20.89 per person.
  • Cambridge: £4.1m of national funding + £4.1m of local funding = £8.2m; population 124,000, = annual spend of £33.06 per person.
  • Norwich: £3.7m of national funding + £1.8m of local funding = £5.5m: population 213,000, = annual spend of £12.91 per person.
  • Oxford: £0.8m of national funding + £0.6m local funding = £1.4m; population 150,000, = annual spend of £4.67 per person.

Total cities funding: £77.2m national funding + £45.4m local funding = £122.6m;   population 6.31m = annual spend of £9.71 per person.

The 4 national parks receiving funding are:

  • Peak District: £5.0m national funding + £2.5m local funding = £7.5m.
  • Dartmoor: £4.4m national funding + £3.0m local funding = £7.4m.
  • South Downs: £3.8m national funding + £1.3m local funding = £5.1m.
  • New Forest: £3.6m national funding + £2.2m local funding = £5.8m.

Total national parks funding: £16.8m national funding + £9.0m local funding = £25.8m.

Full package: £94m of national funding (of which £52m is new money) + £54.4m local funding = £148.4m.

http://www.itv.com/news/calendar/search/?q=cycling+leeds CTC Development Officer in Yorkshire Ginny Leonard ( at 1min 50sec ) comments on the cash for West Yorkshire on ITV Calendar

Gordon Seabright was invited to speak about the announcement on Radio 4's Today programme