Minister for Transport Theresa Villiers yesterday underlined her government’s commitment to promoting cycling at the annual general meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group.

Speaking to MP members of the Parliamentary group and a collection of cycling group representatives, Ms. Villiers emphasized the government’s support of cycling and laid out plans to improve consultation with cyclists in policy-making.

However, she also highlighted the lack of funding available to her department, and, when initiatives were raised or suggestions made, the answer that funding severely restricts possibilities came back time and time again.   

The minister addressed the group on the subject of rail-cycle integration, promising representation of cyclists on the existing Cycle-Rail Group – the group, bizarrely, currently lacks any cycling representation.

She also indicated that her department would look at founding a permanent Cycling Forum within the Department for Transport where cycling interests could be represented to policy-makers.

However, when questions were raised about improving cycle parking in major cities or improving cycle training, the answers were similar: 

“It is desirable to have initiatives such as cycling training,” she said. “But it’s about funding…the reality is that we live in difficult times as far as budgets are concerned.”

  • Richard James

    How about concentrating on improving the attitudes and driving standards of motorists (and cyclists) when sharing the roads? My biggest gripe is the number of motorists who seem determined to get past the cyclist as soon as posible without regard for safety; either by passing too close and too fast when the whole width of the road is available, overtaking in the face of on coming traffic forcing everyone to slow and swerve out of their way or overtaking the cyclist only to cut in and brake sharply to urn right or (worse) left straight afterwards. This sort of impatience and aggression on the part of a significant minority of motorists is what puts most people of cycling claiming the roads are too dangerous. I am also aware of the bad behaviour of some cyclists and that this doesn’t help. More use should be made of awareness training courses for both motorists and cyclists where they are identified driving or riding badly in the same way that they are for some speeding offences. An official website where helmet camera footage can be downloaded and then acted on would simplify the reporting procedure and it could send out an automatic letter to the registered owner as a warning for the first time, a second letter offering the awareness training for a second report and for a third offence mandatory training.

  • Downfader

    The most annoying thing is how Politicians say they’re “committed” and then do naff all. Prove it! Give us real change, real protection and real help. We only account for 2% of all traffic, we will never even reach 10% unless they get off their backsides and make these things happen.

  • White Rose

    No money left for cycle training, repairing holes in roads or a lot of basic services. Much better to use it to bail out merchant bankers and bomb other countries.

  • Ken Evans

    Any money to fix all the holes in the roads ?????