Plans to build 250 miles of cycle lanes across the UK has been met with disappointment, as the investment is just a fraction of the money being spent on transport.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a £5billion transport investment for buses and bikes on Tuesday (February 11), but the amount spent on cycling is just 14 per cent of the total.
>> Struggling to get to the shops try 6 issues of Cycling Weekly magazine for just £6 delivered to your door <<
Charity Cycling UK, which aims to get more people on bikes, has called the plans “a drop in the ocean.”
Chief executive of Paul Tuohy, said: “Cycling UK is hugely disappointed to discover that from a £5bn fund for ‘buses and bikes’ there’s only a mere £350million for cycling.
“250 miles of segregated cycle lanes across England is a drop in the ocean, especially when Manchester plans more than 1,800 miles of lanes.”
The government’s new transport plan is to build 250 miles of new segregated cycle routes and safe junctions in towns and cities across the UK, as well as ‘”Mini-Hollands” where lorry traffic is reduced in an attempt to reduce traffic, congestion, and the environmental impacts of motor vehicles.
Mr Johnson said: “Local transport connections have a truly transformative role to play in levelling up infrastructure across the country.
“Our daily journeys for work or leisure are about so much more than just getting from A to B – they are the key to accessing skilled jobs and opportunities, boosting businesses and unlocking economic growth for towns, cities and regions across this country.
“That’s why improving connectivity by overhauling bus services and making cycling easier than ever is such an important step forward, to make sure every community has the foundations it needs to thrive.”
But the plans fall well short of ambitions in Manchester, where Chris Boardman and Mayor Andy Burnham hope to build a 1,800-mile, £1.5bn cycling and walking network.
Last month, Boardman and Burnham called on the government to help fund the “revolutionary” new network.
In response to the government announcement, Boardman said: “This is certainly a step in the right direction and it is encouraging to see the Prime Minister picking up much of the great work he did a Mayor of London, such as tough design standards and Mini-Hollands.
“We know that investment in cycling and walking has the potential to transform Britain’s towns and cities into healthier, cleaner and more vibrant places to live and work, but getting there will require far more than just 250-miles of segregated lanes.”
Mr Tuohy from Cycling UK added: “Better cycling infrastructure will meet the Prime Minister’s ambitions to transform towns and cities, making them happier, healthier and cleaner places to live and work, but without an immediate commitment of at least £6bn over the next five years, we’ll never achieve that vision.”