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Cycling delivery plan

17th October 2014

Westminster, London

The government yesterday published its draft cycling delivery plan, but it left cycling campaigners underwhelmed. It was published hours before a Parliamentary debate on a motion to support the All Party Parliamentary Group's 'Get Britain Cycling' report.

The document claims to be a 10 year plan for making 'a real step change' in cycling in England. (This is a devolved issue, dealt with locally in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland). It refers to the Get Britain Cycling report, and says that the majority of its recommendations will be met.  

There's a reference to the Prime Minister's announcement of a 'cycling revolution' in August 2013, which the plan says means raising cycling levels to those seen in Denmark, the Netherlands, and Germany.

The plan has been published in draft, and the government welcomes views on the plan and further suggestions. A final plan will then be published 'in the autumn' - although it would seem that 16th October is already the autumn. 

The plan is split into four themes - vision, leadership and ambition (!); funding; infrastructure and planning; and safety and perceptions of safety.

Vision, leadership, and ambition

There is very little of substance in this section. It states an 'ambition' of doubling bicycle 'stages' between 2013 and 2025. The phrase 'long term' is used, but that appears to be more an excuse for doing very little now, than a genuine continuing commitment. 

The main part of the text is devoted to passing responsibility to local authorities. They are invited to contact the Department for Transport to express interest in a partnership with government to help drive up cycling. This will involve them developing a local walking and cycling delivery plan.

Funding

The document claims that cycling funding is currently £5 per person per year, but nobody else believes that. British Cycling put it at about £2 per year. The funding section of the plan states an 'aspiration' to increase it to £10 per peson by 2020/21.

Infrastructure and planning

This part mentions 'cycle proofing' the road network, which it says means that cyclists are considered at the design stage of new and improved road infrastructure. The draft plan says that there is a Cycle Proofing Working Group in the government, which will create a single point of information about best practice for creating and designing cycle friendly streets.

Safety and perceptions of safety

This section says that 48% of those who cycle, and 67% of those who don't, believe that it is too dangerous for them to cycle on the roads. 'The Department for Transport is therefore developing a programme of work to address cycle safety issues with a view to both reducing the rate of those killed or seriously injured on the roads, and to publicly address the perception that cycling is not safe.'

Reaction from cycling campaigners

CTC's article about the draft plan notes that it is a year late in being published. It says that the draft plan lacks any commitments to provide funding for cycling. 'The government's acknowledgement of Parliament's £10 per person funding recommendation is welcome. Its failure to commit to it is not.'

British Cycling says that the plan 'falls well short' of delivering the Prime Minister's promised cycling revolution, and it is disappointed that it doesn't commit any significant funding to make it a reality.

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