MP calls on the House of Commons to boost funding for cycling

An MP has made an impassioned plea in the House of Commons to get more people cycling.

(Image credit: jim davies)

Ben Bradshaw hailed biking facilities in his Exeter constituency, but he urged the Government to boost funding in cycling across the country, reports the Exeter Express & Echo.

He said: "I am fortunate that in my constituency we still have a local authority that is committed to Bikeability, but the service around the country is patchy because there is no sustained funding.

"Helped by the fantastic success of our professional cycling teams in the Olympics, cycling is now very cool and there has been a big upsurge in cycling among teenagers in my constituency. However, that is mainly because there are safe routes to the schools and facilities for people to lock their bikes and store their stuff when they get there. I am sorry to say that that is not common across the country."

He also criticised UK governments for not investing more in cycling.

Bradshaw added: "The problem is that under successive Governments the approach taken to cycling has been a piecemeal hotch-potch; we have had a bit of funding here, a bit of targeted funding there and a grant that has to be applied for. Progress has been bedevilled by the fact that there has not been sustained, real investment and sustained political leadership from the top.

"The Secretary of State is a reasonable man. He was extolling the fantastic rail renaissance that we enjoyed in England in recent years. We could be having exactly the same renaissance in cycling if only there were the political will and a tiny bit of investment.

"All it would need is a fraction of the Department’s budget that is going on roads or on HS2 to be earmarked for cycling, and we could achieve that £10 per head per year figure, which would begin to deliver the cycling revolution we all want."

In response, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, Robert Goodwill said the Government was "determined to ensure that best practice is shared among local authorities".

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