Sustrans and British Cycling respond to cycling funding boost from the transport secretary
Responding to the announcement from Norman Baker yesterday, both British Cycing and Sustrans have welcomed the new cash for cycling, but added that continual funding will make a greater difference to cycling numbers in the UK.
UPDATE: CTC has also passed its comments on to BikeBiz in our comments thread - see below.
Reacting positively to the news, British Cycling said that it doesn’t go far enough if the intention is to get Britain cycling at the levels seen in countries like Holland and Denmark.
“We welcome this development and it’s a credit to Norman Baker that he is securing this increased funding for cycling infrastructure - but what we need is long term, sustained investment and a strategy to put cycling at the heart of transport policy," said British Cycling’s director for policy and legal affairs Martin Gibbs - who is in Westminster today giving evidence at the Get Britain Cycling inquiry.
Gibbs added: "The total funding package works out at less than £1 pound per head of the population. The Dutch spend £25 pounds per head per year and have been doing so for decades. Cycling is now part of their culture with 43 per cent of people in Amsterdam cycling to work. We need to match that level of funding to get Britain cycling.”
Also responding to the funding, Sustrans approved of the funding, adding that cycle safety and infrastructure is critical to get Britain Cycling.
Sustrans chief exec Malcolm Shepherd said: "Additional funding for cycling networks is urgently needed and we warmly welcome this new funding initiative from Government.
“Sustrans is very pleased to have the opportunity to use our expertise to help local authorities deliver safer roads, junctions and routes across the country, particularly in sometimes-overlooked rural areas.
“Creating high quality cycling paths that increase travel choices is a key element in the overarching plan to get Britain cycling and turn us into a healthier, more productive and more mobile nation.
“With continuing political leadership, better funding and improved infrastructure, we can transform travel by providing real choices over how people can get around and ensure cycling and walking are the norm for shorter journeys.”
The CTC, via the comments thread below, has also commented. Roger Geffen said: "CTC, like British Cycling and Sustrans, also welcomes the funding, and the focus on a few showcase cycle-friendly cities, cycle safety improvements, cycle-rail integration and the promotion of cycling in National Parks.
"However we are also urging Ministers to recognise that these are still small sums compared with levels of spending on cycling in other European countries. We are also urging that there needs to be consistency of funding commitments, rather than stop-start mini-spurts of cash. Only then will local authorities be able to develop the skills and the schemes to ensure that the money is really well spent, in ways which transform cycle use and cycle safety."
The CTC's full response, including a breakdown of the funding, can be found here.