Plan 'falls short' of delivering cycling revolution, says British Cycling

Plan 'falls short' of delivering cycling revolution, says British Cycling

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The government’s cycling delivery plan – published today by the Department for Transport  – “falls well short” of delivering the cycling revolution promised by David Cameron, British Cycling said today, ahead of a parliamentary debate.

British Cycling has expressed disappointment that the plan, announced via a statement by Cycling Minister Robert Goodwill, “does not commit any significant funding to make these actions a reality.”

The plan sets out funding in the short-term for cycling with only an aspiration to reach £10 per head by 2021. £10 per head is the widely recognised as the minimum starting point for targeted investment to improve the cycling environment in order grow levels of cycling.

Olympic and Paralympic champions Chris Boardman and Dame Sarah Storey were quick to respond to the news. Both are calling for ministers to commit sustained funding to make cities, towns and villages across Britain fit for mass cycling.

British Cycling's Policy Adviser, Chris Boardman, said:

“The long-awaited cycling delivery plan is an unmissable opportunity for the government to put their money where their mouth is and truly give us the cycling revolution promised by David Cameron. We need to see an annual budget of at least £10 per head. If George Osbourne isn’t convinced he just needs to look at British Cycling’s research paper which shows £17 billion savings for the NHS and a 25% increase in the mobility of our nation’s poorest families. This isn’t just about cycling, it’s about creating better places to live.”

Britain's most successful ever Paralympian, Dame Sarah Storey, said:

“There has never been a better time for the government to invest properly in getting Britain cycling. If we miss this, that’s a whole generation of children who will grow up driving around in cars rather than making short journeys by bike and our NHS bill for unfit and unhealthy people will just continue to grow. The logic and balanced arguments for giving £10 per head to cycling every year make sense and I hope that ministers make the right decisions without any further delay.”

The government’s cycling delivery plan is now out for consultation by the Department for Transport.

Full statement from British Cycling in response to the plan

A British Cycling spokesperson said:

“The government's cycling delivery plan arrives 14 months on from the Prime Minister’s announcement about his ambition to see a ‘cycling revolution…which would 'remove the barriers to a new generation of cyclists.’ While the plan is welcome, it falls short of being able to deliver the Prime Minister's ambition.

“The plan does not commit any significant funding to make these actions a reality - it talks about an aspiration to reach £10 per head by 2021. £10 per head is the widely recognised as the minimum starting point for targeted investment to improve the cycling environment in order grow levels of cycling.

“The plan's target to 'double' participation levels of cycling in ten years, while laudable, is nowhere near the level of 10% recommended in the All Party Parliamentary Group's Get Britain Cycling report. Without stretching targets, local councils will not feel compelled to invest resources in removing the barriers to cycling.

“Finally, while cycling may be getting the attention of government, it takes sustained leadership to drive through change to ensure that laws and guidance are amended to build cycling into our towns, cities and villages. British Cycling fears that the plan lacks the necessary clout to enable ministers to see through these changes.

“While the plan is lacking in these important areas, it does seek to address many of the issues raised in the Get Britain Cycling report including a commitment to cycle-proof all new transport developments, a review of regulations, the need to highlight best practice to local authorities, an update to the national design standards, a review of the driving test and ensuring that cycling is part of the review of sentencing guidelines.

“British Cycling will encourage its 100,000 members to respond to the consultation and will continue to ask for meaningful targets and investment to truly get Britain cycling.”  

For more information about how to get into cycling visit www.britishcycling.org.uk/getinvolved