“Budget ignores small towns and rural communities again”, says Cycling UK

“Budget ignores small towns and rural communities again”, says Cycling UK

“Budget ignores small towns and rural communities again”, says Cycling UK

In its initial reaction to the Budget, Cycling UK says rural communities and small towns are being overlooked.

Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s Head of Campaigns said:

“Overall this Budget fails to provide sufficient funding for rural communities and small towns, with the focus on our larger cities and the major road network.

“The UK’s dirty air crisis is already upon us, with the WHO already likening pollution to the ‘new tobacco’. Our streets are congested, our public’s health failing and the environment suffering – and instead of spending on measures to address this like encouraging cycling and walking, more money is being disproportionately ploughed into motorways and highways which make up two percent of our roads network.

“Cycling UK, along with other walking and cycling organisations, is calling for the Government to allocate five percent of its transport budget on active travel rising to 10 percent in time. Only with adequate funding will the Government see the nation moving healthily and safely.”

£420m for roads maintenance and pothole fund

Mr Dollimore said:

"The Budget’s road spending plans are completely off track. For less than a third of £28bn to be spent on new motorways - £9.3bn according to the Asphalt Industry Alliance - the Chancellor could have fixed the UK's current pot hole problem.

 “Spending money on new motorways does nothing to address the concerns of people who use local roads for everyday travel.

 “Cycling UK believes the Government should adopt a fix it first policy towards roads before building more."

£680m for Transforming Cities Fund

Mr Dollimore said:

 “Towns and villages throughout rural England are still waiting for funding to help them meet the Government’s own plans to increase cycling and walking in the country – and at this rate it looks as though Godot might arrive before that happens.”

Cycling UK is currently campaigning for authorities to receive funding that will allow them to implement local cycling and walking infrastructure plans the Government has encouraged them to draw up. For further information see: www.cyclinguk.org/activetravel 

£150m for local authorities to improve junctions

Mr Dollimore said:

“This could be good news, but it highlights the pressing need for the Government to publish its new design standards. This will insure the funding is not wasted on schemes that disadvantage pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users, and will instead benefit the local community.”

£90m for “future mobility zones” and ebikes

Mr Dollimore said:

 “Cycling UK is encouraged to see the Government helping authorities investing in alternative methods for people to travel around their cities rather than the petrol or diesel driven car, such as e-bikes. Considering the subsidies available for every other type of electric vehicle, from e-vans to e-scooters, we hope this is a step towards the Government making subsidies for e-bikes more widely available.”

ENDS

Contact information 

For more information contact the national Cycling UK Press Office on 01483 238 315, 07786 320 713 or email publicity@cyclinguk.org

Notes to editors 
  1. Cycling UK, the national 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. www.cyclinguk.org
  2. Cycling UK, as part of the walking and cycling alliance has been calling for Government to bring about five changes to make our roads safer for pedestrians and people on bikes:
     
  • Safety: revise the Highway Code to improve safety for people walking and cycling, particularly at junctions;
  • Speed: reduce default speed limits to 20 mph for most roads in built-up areas and 40 mph for most minor rural roads;
  • Space: adopt and ensure consistent application of existing ‘best-in-class’ infrastructure design standards;
  • Priority: prohibit pavement parking to create safer and more accessible streets; and
  • Culture: provide cycle training for all primary and secondary school children, and embed a culture of walking and cycling throughout the school curriculum

The Walking and Cycling Alliance is a coalition of the UK’s leading walking and cycling organisations of the Bicycle Association, Cycling UK, the Ramblers, British Cycling, Living Streets and Sustrans.

  1. Fill That Hole has been reporting potholes for the UK’s road users since 2007. For more information see: www.fillthathole.org.uk
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