Government cycling strategy is “derisory plan” not “delivery plan”
CTC, the national cycling charity, roundly criticised the Department for Transport’s much delayed Cycling Delivery Plan for lacking a real commitment to funding.
The Plan, which was promised by the Prime Minister in August 2013 and is now over a year delayed, was meant to herald a “cycling revolution”. Published on Thursday 16 October, only two hours ahead of a Parliamentary debate on the future of UK cycling, the Plan fails to commit to the cross-party 'Get Britain Cycling' report’s recommendations of £10 per head per person. Instead it offers the vague hope that local government, businesses and others might come up with the funding by 2020/21, in a future government’s term of office.
In his initial response to the Cycling Delivery Plan, Paul Tuohy, CTC Chief Executive said:
“This is a derisory plan not a delivery plan. The Prime Minister’s ‘cycling revolution’ with its Penny Farthing budget is going nowhere unless the Chancellor finds funding for cycling in his Autumn Statement. Cycling needs at least £10 a head if we are even to begin catching up with German, Dutch or Danish levels of cycle use.
“If we can afford long term strategies for our roads and railways why not for cycling? It has such huge benefits to the economy and the environment, our waistlines and our wallets it would be foolish not to.
“With the Chancellor’s deadline to comment on what should be in his Autumn Statement tomorrow, I urge MPs and the public to voice their support today for CTC’s call for funding4cycling."
CTC also points out that the Plan’s ‘ambition’ to double the number of trips made wholly or partly by cycle is even less ambitious than it appears. Once the expected growth of cycle use in London and population increase are taken into account the increase in real terms would be less than three quarters (74 per cent), and falls far below the ‘Get Britain Cycling’ targets of a 10 per cent target for all trips.
Notes to editors
Notes to editors:
CTC, the UK’s largest cycling charity, inspires and helps people to cycle and keep cycling, whatever kind of cycling they do or would like to do. Over a century’s experience tells us that cycling is more than useful transport; it makes you feel good, gives you a sense of freedom and creates a better environment for everyone.
1. CTC launched its Funding4Cycling initiative on Friday 10 October in a bid to galvanise cycling supporters to contact HM Treasury to commit to long term funding of at least £10 per head per person. To engage with the campaign visit: www.funding4cycling.org.uk
2. The Government initially promised a Cycling Delivery Plan in August 2013, in response to the Get Britain Cycling report, published in April 2013 by the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group. At the time, Prime Minister David Cameron announced his aspiration to launch “a cycling revolution”. The Plan was originally due to be released last autumn, but has been postponed several times, having meanwhile been expanded to cover walking as well as cycling. Parliament allocated time to debate the draft Plan tomorrow (October 16th), on the basis that is was due to appear well beforehand, however it remains unpublished.
3. Annual spending on cycling in the Netherlands amounts to around £24 per person. London Mayor Boris Johnson has promised around £12.50 per person in London over the next 10 years. For England outside London though, current cycle spending is thought to be around £2 per person. The delays in publishing the draft Plan are thought to be due to reluctance from Chancellor George Osborne to provide the funding needed to deliver a “cycling revolution” which Prime Minister David Cameron promised last summer, in response to the ‘Get Britain Cycling’ report.
4. The Get Britain Cycling report called for cycling to be increased from less than 2% of trips at present to 10% of trips (a bit below German levels of cycle use) by 2025, and to 25% of trips (just below Dutch levels) by 2050. It also called for spending of at least £10 per person annually on cycling – rising to £20 as cycle use increases – in order to maximise its health, economic, environmental and other benefits. It took evidence from experts on cycling and sustainable travel, health and road safety, as well as representatives of motoring and freight industries, and Government ministers. The report was authored by Professor Phil Goodwin, a leading transport researcher at University College London and the University of the West of England. The inquiry was sponsored by News International, publishers of the Times newspaper, as part of its ‘Cities fit for Cycling’ campaign. Further information can be found at: https://www.ctc.org.uk/campaign/get-britain-cycling
Press contact information
For more information contact the national CTC Press Office on 0844 736 8453, 07786320713 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.