Chris Boardman says if he proposed government's plans for cycling to businesses he would be "laughed out of the room"

Former Olympic and world champion Chris Boardman has slammed the British government’s proposals to invest less than £1 per person into the nation’s cycling infrastructure, which is “less than the cost of a cup of coffee”.

Boardman, who currently acts as British Cycling’s policy adviser, is addressing Members of Parliament today at the All Party Parliamentary Group for Cycling as they discuss the government’s draft Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy.

Boardman’s comments were backed up by the 40 businesses and organisations that are part of the #ChooseCycling Network group, which would like to see much more invested in cycling – £10 per head.

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“If I were presenting the government’s cycling investment strategy as a workable proposal for any of the businesses in the #ChooseCycling Network, I would be laughed out of the room,” Boardman said.

“It is simply not possible to make cycling the ‘natural choice’ for short journeys by investing less than £1 per head – less than the cost of a cup of coffee. As the government run the country, I’d hope they know this.”

The #ChooseCycling Network group has drawn up a three-point request to improve the cycling strategy:

Better places to cycle: meaning a programme of building segregated cycle lanes in towns and cities across Britain;
Smarter investment in cycling: by setting aside a greater proportion of the roads budget and budgets from related transport and infrastructure programmes;
Stronger leadership at national (Transport Secretary) and local level: to ensure cycling is integrated in all infrastructure and devolution programmes to normalise cycling as a means of transport.

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Boardman said: “The longer cycling gets treated as an afterthought or a charity case, the longer we are missing out on a unique opportunity to create a healthier, happier and more active nation.

“This is no longer just something that people who already ride bikes want to see happen, this is something that 70 per cent of people in Britain agree with and increasingly, as we have seen today, businesses across all sectors.”

>>> What is ‘Get Britain Cycling’

The All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group produced its ‘Get Britain Cycling‘ report in 2013, which recommended that the government invest £10 a head on cycling in Britain to make a ‘meaningful change’.

  • llos25

    I am sorry but large parts are open in fact most of it and there is no law enforcement ,you can use it if you do not value your life most sensible people avoid it like the plague.

  • J1

    The problem is that they would only “invest” in the big cities anyway, so it wouldn’t make a difference to the smaller towns either way.

  • Sam Shepherd

    This would be the cycle way which isn’t yet open, and so there are no enforcement rules for cars and vans parking on it? There are a couple of dangerous sections, for sure, and these have been reported in the cycling press, not to mention to the council and the planners, but there are also long sections which would appear to be fine and with the potential to work well. The problem with it is not the spending of the (mostly EU grant) money but all the compromises made in favour of people in cars.

  • GeorgeB

    So what your saying is Cars and buses not abiding by road laws is what makes it dangerous? It in-itself isn’t dangerous and is exactly the type of infrastructure we need to be advocating, what you have highlighted is the problem to be addressed, so its not really a waste of money is it?

  • llos25

    There is not enough space but cars parked in the cycle lane buses crossing it people driving in it I suggest you read the T&A or Yorkshire post or look for yourself.

  • ant

    what is dangerous about it? please tell more

  • In Thailand we can get a cup of decent coffee for 80p. Makes the coffee stop pleasurable.

  • llos25

    I have just seen 29million wasted on a dangerous cycleway joining
    Leeds with Bradford this debacle had input from I believe from sustran,if I was a tax payer in the UK I would be a little mad at this waste of money.