The Department for Transport, on behalf of the Government, issued a response to the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group’s ‘Get Britain Cycling’ report on Wednesday. The response comes prior to a Commons debate on the report, scheduled for September 2.
The APPCG report was published in April, and included a raft of wide-ranging recommendations to entice more cycle use among the British public and to improve the safety of cyclists. The report was issued after a series of six inquiry sessions in January, February and March, during which expert witnesses gave evidence.
“The coalition government takes cycling very seriously and we are committed to leading the country in getting more people cycling, more safely, more often,” said Minister for Cycling, Norman Baker, in the Government response.
“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.”
The response addresses each of the 18 recommendations made in the Get Britain Cycling report in turn. Some of the responses are highly encouraging, and some are downright dismissive.
The first recommendation by the APPCG report was that a cycling budget be created amounting to £10 per person per year, increasing to £20. The DfT response is that in some areas the amount is now £18 when local authority contributions are included, but these only include key cities rather than the country as a whole. The £10-per-head minimum spend is a cornerstone of cycle policy in Britain going forward to generate the funding required to change infrastructure in favour of cyclists.
in August, the Government unveiled a £94million confirmed investment to improve safety and ‘cycle-proof’ UK roads.
Roger Geffen, CTC Campaigns and Policy Director commented: “The Government has made welcome progress in the past 18 months on boosting the funding and priority for cycling, yet there is an awful lot more still to be done. We urge political leaders of all parties to support MPs’ calls for sustained funding for cycling of at least £10 per person annually, and to ensure high standards of cycle-friendliness are designed into all new road and traffic schemes.”
Those recommendations largely dismissed by the DfT were: to appoint a national ‘Cycling Champion’; and to set national targets for an increase in the number of cycle journeys in Britain, which respectively received the following response from DfT: “The Government has no plans to appoint a national Cycling Champion” and “The Government does not believe that to set national targets for cycling will encourage take up at local level.”
More encouragingly, the DfT response states that there will be a sentencing review for dangerous driving offences in 2014, for which Cycling Weekly and British Cycling launched a joint campaign in May 2012.
Links to both the original ‘Get Britain Cycling’ APPCG report and the DfT response are below.