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Infrastructure bill needs ‘cycle-proofing’ says British Cycling

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Published: 29 August 2014

Cycle path

British Cycling has joined five other national organisations to propose a new law to fund walking and cycling.

Lords Berkeley and Lord Judd are due to propose an amendment to the Infrastructure Bill which would make the government plan for greater investment into cycling and walking.

The proposed amendments would mean that the Government would be required to publish a binding Cycling & Walking Investment Strategy and answer to Parliament if the ambitions in it were not met.

British Cycling’s campaigns manager Martin Key said:

“We support these amendments because they are the essence of cycle-proofing. The needs of cycling must be planned in from the very start of all transport projects. By investing in this way we will make cycling attractive to all people not just the few.

“Meaningful and consistent levels of funding are fundamental for cycling levels to grow. Until we have a clear plan backed by funding to make it happen we will not tackle the congestion and pollution which blight our communities.”

British Cycling has joined five other organisations in backing the amendments: Campaign to Protect Rural England, Campaign for Better Transport, The CTC, Living Streets, and Sustrans.

The strategy would be divided into four parts, setting out:

  • a long-term vision to increase walking and cycling rates across the whole population, in rural as well as urban areas
  • a ‘Statement of Funds Available’ for the next five years that would be spent specifically on cycling and walking
  • a detailed Investment Plan of programmes and schemes, e.g. to improve cycle-rail integration, retrofit safe walking and cycling paths along busy roads and give provincial towns and cities London-style cycling measures and exemplary public spaces
  • a performance specification of measures and targets, e.g. increases in cycling and walking levels, improvement in safety, and the proportion of schools and stations with safe routes to them.

The Infrastructure Bill sets out various provisions for the funding of land transport schemes including the creation of a more independent national Highways Agency. As it stands, the Bill is focused on fixing long-term planning and funding for roads. The government will secure long-term funding roads and rail but currently funding for utility cycling will come to an end in 2016.

The Bill is currently being considered by the House of Lords before it passes to the House of Commons for further scrutiny.