Transport Select Committee calls for investment in cycling to rise from £2 per head to £10 per head in the next six years.

Spend more on cycling, MPs urge

A massive increase in spending on cycling is needed, MPs have said. A report from the Transport Select Committee urges ministers to spend more on cycling and help bring about a “cultural change” so more people start cycling. Committee chairwoman Louise Ellman of Labour said: “Transport ministers must demonstrate clear political leadership by championing cycling, and the Department for Transport must coordinate action across government on this vital agenda.”

Investment should rise from an estimated £2 per head to £10 per head in the next six years, the report says.

The committee found that there was “limited evidence of a widespread culture that is supportive of cyclists as road users.”

Ms Ellman said: "Investing in cycling will make the roads safer for all users, and encourage more people to cycle and walk."

Responding to the report, CTC said annual funding of £10 per head was “the minimum required to start get Britain cycling.”

Jon Snow, CTC President, said: “The positive recommendations made by the Select Committee are good news, but we need our government to go one step further and make the commitment to at least £10 per head funding to make safe cycling with in the United Kingdom with immediate effect, not six years from now.”

CTC’s Campaigns Director Roger Geffen said: “I am delighted that MPs have once again backed what CTC has long been calling for – cross-departmental leadership, clear cycle-friendly design standards and serious long-term funding commitments are essential if Britain’s long-overdue ‘Cycling Revolution’ is finally to get underway.”

The report recommends Funding of £10 a head for cycling, per person, per year.

* Cycle-friendly design standards that enable anyone to be able to use a bike, and which are designed in from the beginning of each project.

* Training and awareness campaigns to promote safety awareness among drivers and cyclists alike with ‘Bikeability’ available for people of all ages – with no driver permitted to gain a licence without awareness of cycling safety.

* Collaboration between the government, EU and industry to improve the design of vehicles and improve the culture of safety in the construction industry

* Cross-departmental working to ensure fragmented funding and policies are aligned to improve cycling safety and increase cycling levels.

The Transport Select Committee heard evidence from a wide variety of sources. The British Beer and Pub Association and the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry warned that segregated cycle lanes would be a “risk” to kerbside deliveries to pubs and other businesses. The Department for Transport acknowledged this point, stating:

“The segregation of cyclists can bring some safety benefits; however, separating cyclists from other traffic will not always be better for cyclists, as if implemented inappropriately it can increase the potential for conflict between cycles and motor vehicles at intersections with the road network. Whilst we encourage segregation alongside high speed roads, in urban environments space is often at a premium. Providing a broad, high quality cycle route segregated from motor traffic in these circumstances might be desirable but in many cases it is not always practicable. It is important that each proposal to improve conditions for cyclists is considered in relation to the prevailing circumstances and not with a presumption that removing cyclists from the carriageway is always a good thing.”

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