December 30th, 2015
Chancellor George Osborne announced that there will only be £300m dedicated for cycling infrastructure over the next five years of this Parliament which equates to just £60m per year. In 2015, the government are expecting to spend £142m which is £82 million more meaning there would potentially be a 58% cut in 2016.
The national cycling charity, the CTC, claims that in real terms it equates to spending of just £1.39 per person annually in England and claims George Osborne has successfully punctured the “Prime Minister’s ‘Cycling Revolution’”.
Paul Tuohy, CTC Chief Executive, said: “Today we saw the Prime Minister’s ‘Cycling Revolution’ punctured by his friend, the Chancellor, George Osborne, and we can’t even afford a puncture repair kit.
“This is not, however, about the end to a Prime Minister’s vanity project but a disaster to one of the biggest and most worthwhile projects of all.
“Cycling provides an incredibly cost-effective solution for our polluted air and congested roads, it defuses the ticking time bomb of an impending obesity epidemic, and it makes simple economic sense. Yet realising these benefits requires funding and leadership, which the Chancellor has conspicuously failed to provide.
“This Government made a manifesto commitment to double cycle use and reduce serious and fatal injuries for cyclists and other road users. Yet it is hard to see how they can achieve this with such a tiny budget.
“Vulnerable road users now account for 60% of serious and fatal road casualties, up from 52% in recent years. We were promised safer roads, yet it seems we’re just getting more roads and more traffic. This has to be bad for our health and our environment, and will probably harm our economy too.”
The cycling charity believes that it is unfair that £15bn is being allocated for the road network and the High Speed 2 project leaving other forms of transport such as cycling, walking and buses scrapping around for the left overs. They are advising cyclists to contact their MP in support of the ‘All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group’s letter’ to the Chancellor.
The letter asks for at least £10 per head per year to be a realistic sum for cycling projects, a figure identified by the parliamentary ‘Get Britain Cycling’ report.
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