Figures revealed by Cycling Minister Robert Goodwill show that funding for cycling is set to fall by 70 percent within five years. The year after year drop in funding was flushed out by Labour's Daniel Zeichner MP.
The MP for Cambridge and Shadow Local Transport Minister had asked Goodwill how much the Department for Transport planned to spend on cycling each year through to 2021.
Goodwill revealed that annual spending on cycling would increase to £202.6m in 2017/18 from £185.m in 2016/17 but that ever year afterwards would see a decrease, ending with just £58.7m earmarked for spending in 2020/21.
“These new figures expose the ever-widening gulf between Government rhetoric and reality. A year ago David Cameron said he wanted to ‘increase spending further to £10 per person each year’, yet funding is set to fall by 70 percent.
“After promising three years ago to kick-start a ‘cycling revolution’, the Government has back-pedalled. Their aspirations are worthy, but their cycling and walking investment strategy just doesn’t deliver."
In March BikeBiz stated that the Government had published reports on how the UK could "go Dutch" but wouldn't be doing so because it was not investing enough money in cycling.
In its Cycling and Walking Strategy, introduced last year, the Government pledged to double cycle use by 2025 but does not consider cycling to be a "national" concern, preferring to leave it up to local authorities and local enterprise partnerships, or LEPS, to fund cycling schemes. Motoring, on the other hand, is treated as a national priority, and funded accordingly – the Government plans to spend £15bn on new trunk roads.
Yesterday the Government launched a 10-week consultation on its plan to establish the National Infrastructure Commission and invited "all interested parties to submit their views". Perhaps cyclists and cycling groups may wish to submit comments to this consultation, asking why cycling is not considered a "national" priority?