Following a clear General Election victory, British Cycling has urged Prime Minister David Cameron to roll out his impressive election commitments on cycling quickly and decisively.
In a letter to Chris Boardman a fortnight before the election, the Prime Minister signalled his personal and political commitment to making Britain a ‘cycling nation’. Specific commitments include making cycling the natural choice for short journeys, doubling the number of journeys by bike by 2025, improving road and junction safety, and boosting the provision of training through Bikeability.
Crucially, the conservative manifesto sets aside £200 million to invest in these aims. Sitting alongside Mr Cameron’s personal commitment to spend £10 per head on cycling each year, the package would be a big boost to cycling in the UK.
British Cycling policy adviser, Chris Boardman said:
“Cycling is booming in Britain despite having been a political afterthought, but this year for the first time during a General Election there was an argument between the major parties about who would do more for cycling. Some good commitments were made and there is real common ground.
“There are basic steps such as publishing the cycling and walking investment plan required under the Infrastructure Act, and ensuring that roads and junctions are fit for cyclists. The Prime Minister has made some important commitments on this.
"Now he has a majority in the House of Commons there is nothing to stop him from delivering, and we have written today to the Secretaries of State for Transport, and for Culture, Media and Sport, in an attempt to get this moving.
“Campaigning for better conditions on our roads is a key part of the service we offer to our 108,000 members, but it’s good for the whole country. Active travel is on the front line of the fight against obesity and its spiraling cost to the NHS.
"More cycling will reduce pollution and make our towns cleaner, more prosperous and more vibrant. Breaking down the barriers that stop more people from cycling – namely poor investment and poor infrastructure – are easy wins for any government and this Prime Minister has a unique opportunity to transform Britain into a cycling nation. There is no time to waste.”
It was revealed today that the number of miles cycled in 2014 had risen by nearly 4% and is the sixth consecutive year which has seen an increase. In total 3.2 billion miles were cycled in Britain for transport in 2014.