Gov’t cycling strategy plan will be about “consideration” not cash

If you thought CWIS was bad – it’s pronounced "cee-whizz" – get ready for LCWIPs, Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans, or "Elsie Whips." It appears that the long-awaited Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy will be light on cash and will, instead, urge local authorities and others to show "consideration" for cycling (and walking).

This can be gleaned from a parliamentary question and answer session.

Shadow housing minister Ruth Cadbury asked transport minister Andrew Jones whether the Department for Motorised Transport (DfMT, pronounced "we’ve been dumphed on") would be seeking a planning system that would support the creation of quality cycling conditions.

His answer to this CWIS question? Another acronym.

"The Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy Consultation, published on 27 March 2016, set out how we will help local bodies to take a more strategic approach to improving conditions for cycling and walking by issuing guidelines on the preparation of Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs). LCWIPs will help ensure that consideration is given to cycling and walking within both planning and transport policies and strategies at the local level. We hope to publish the LCWIP guidance shortly."

Cadbury also asked whether CWIS would contain "road environment design standards to encourage cycle use among children and young people, women, older people and people with disabilities."

Jones said the long-in-the-tooth Cycle Infrastructure Design of 2008 is "comprehensive and allows councils to design good, safe schemes that encourages cycling across all demographics. The Department will consider how to refresh this guidance to take account of the new facilities to encourage cycling introduced in the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016."

Reading between the lines, there will be no new cash in the late – and probably ready to be lamented – Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (although the DfT will likely announce the councils who’ve won bids from the £60 Access Fund). So, why the huge delay? Well, partly Brexit, but mostly a reticence to do anything meaningful for anything other than trains, planes and automobiles.

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