Published: 17 July 2013
British Cycling has welcomed the government’s commitment to cycle-proof the major road network, as published in the Department for Transport’s Action for Roads paper yesterday.
Cycle-proofing is a term that British Cycling has been using for many months to describe how all roads can be made suitable for cycling and this latest announcement is a victory for the sports governing body and its members.
Cycle-proofing is about ensuring that cycling is designed into all new roads and junctions, integrated into all new transport schemes and all new roads policies. With the Government committed to investing £28 billion in new roads and investments, now is the time to ensure that high quality, consistent cycling facilities are designed into all new roads and junctions.
Commenting on the news, British Cycling’s Director of Legal and Policy Affairs, Martin Gibbs, said: “We’re really pleased to see an acknowledgement from the government on the need to ensure that our roads are fit for cyclists.
"British Cycling has been banging the drum on the need for cycle-proofing and the redesign of dangerous junctions for months and it’s fantastic to see that these efforts – and the efforts of all of our members – have paid off.
"We will be following developments closely to ensure that this vision is turned into a reality as soon as possible for the near two million cyclists who use our roads every week.”
The government report also promises “to make even greater provision for cycling as a form of transport... and retrofit the latest solutions and make sure that it is easy and safe for cyclists to use junctions."
British Cycling has worked hard to create the best conditions for success at the elite level of cycling. But we want to see this happen for every cyclist.
Our success at the London 2012 Games and the first British winner of the Tour de France has led to a surge in demand for cycling - but there could be even more. Safety fears are currently preventing a lot of people from getting on their bikes - 61% of people surveyed on their attitudes agreed or strongly agreed that “it is too dangerous for me to cycle on the roads.
British Cycling wants to fix the disconnect between people’s enthusiasm for cycling and what is available on the road. This will get more people cycling - which is good for the sport as well as our health, environment and economy.
The report also includes other commitments that benefit cycling:
- The Highways Agency will be working on 20 schemes to improve cycle access and reduce the risk at junctions and the strategy promises future schemes will be included.
- £15.1 billion will be invested in the network over the next 8 years.
- £12 billion will be spent on maintenance including resurfacing.
- The Highways Agency will be a public company from 2015 which should be enable to it to be more strategic about its investment.
Yesterday, British Cycling met Transport Minister, Stephen Hammond, to discuss the document. We have stressed the need to ensure that high-quality cycling facilities are built alongside the strategic network as well as at crossing-points.
Although some A-roads do not offer the best cycling conditions some provide the most direct and level route and are popular for cycling. It is vital that the Highways Agency ensures that cycling is planned in to all new developments at the early stage and not treated as an after-thought.