The Government has provided a response to the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group’s ‘Get Britain cycling’ report.
The Government is determined to help more people take up cycling, said Local Transport Minister Norman Baker.
"We are committed to leading the country in getting more people cycling, more safely, more often.
"Many of the recommendations put forward by the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group mirror those that we are already taking forward so we are ahead on some of the challenges which have been set for us.
"However we are keen to go further and faster.The £94 million announced by the Prime Minister earlier this month is an excellent boost and will help to encourage even more people to take to two wheels."
The publication of the Government’s response to the APPCG’s report follows an injection of cash for cycling, announced earlier this month. £77 million will be divided between Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Newcastle, Bristol, Cambridge, Oxford and Norwich, while the New Forest, Peak District, South Downs and Dartmoor will each share a slice of £17 million funding for national parks. With local contributions, the total new funding for cycling is £148 million between now and 2015.
This means that these eight cities are now receiving investment in excess of £10 of funding per head, per year – one of the key recommendations made by the APPCG. The Government response said it is also taking action to ensure that roads are ‘cycle proofed’, starting with £5 million of investment to facilitate safe cycling on trunk roads, with a further £15 million planned for 2015 to 2016.
The response said: "Many of the measures identified as good practice in other countries are already possible in Britain, for example fully segregated cycle lanes and providing a form of priority for cyclists at side roads. Decisions on how best to provide for cyclists on local roads are rightly matters for the local authority – not only do they have a duty to balance the needs of all road users when considering how to design and manage their road networks, but they also have a detailed understanding of their roads."
While Eric Pickles, the Community Secretary, is badgering local authorities to make it easier for motorists to park cars, there will be no such badgering on behalf of cycling. With cycling, it’s always ‘local knows best’.
The response said: "The Department for Transport expects local authorities to up their game in delivering infrastructure that takes cycling into account from the design stage."
The request from the APPCG report to appoint a national Cycling Champion – a cycling csar – an expert from outside the Department for Transport has been rejected:
"The Government has no plans to appoint a national Cycling Champion. However, the Cycle Safety Forum Subgroup provides external expert help and advice."
There’s a post-response parliamentary debate on the Get Britain Cycling report to be held September 2nd.