National cycling charity CTC has warned that Britain won’t reach current Dutch levels of cycling facilities and investment until the 23rd century.
Responding to the government’s Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, CTC’s policy director Roger Geffen MBE, said: “Despite its laudable aim to normalise cycling and walking by 2040, this strategy’s draft targets suggest that, outside London, English cycle use would eventually reach Dutch levels by the start of the 23rd century, while its funding allocations mean even slower progress. If ministers are serious about their stated aims, they need to reallocate some of their £15bn motorway and trunk road budget towards cycling and walking. That could help tackle congestion, pollution, physical inactivity and climate change, whereas roads spending will do the exact opposite.
“Ministers need to invest in cycling to overcome congestion, pollution, physical inactivity and climate change, not make them worse.”
According to the charity, the objectives and funding proposed in the first draft strategy fall well short of the recommendations of the parliamentary ‘Get Britain Cycling’ report. This called for investment in cycling of at least £10 per person annually, rising to £20, in order to boost cycle use to 10% of trips by 2025, and to 25% by 2050. By contrast, the draft Cycling & Walking Investment Strategy provides central government funding of just over £300m for period 2015-20, amounting to just £1.38 per person outside London.
CTC, British Cycling and their allies want to see the following commitments made by government:
- Funding of at least £10 per head per year (£530 million in England), rising to £20;
- A comprehensive plan of how the targets, objectives and ambitions of the strategy will be achieved;
- A definitive, nationally-adopted design guide for cycling and walking infrastructure;
- A framework for assessing progress in delivering the strategy; and
- Independent governance to challenge and support the strategy.