Government's Cycling Plan Branded 'Derisory'

Cycle//UK

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CTC, the national cycling charity, have said that the government's plans to double the number of people cycling in England by 2025 are 'derisory'.

Despite transport minister Robert Goodwill insisting that the government was 'serious about making the UK a cycling nation', campaigners argue that the cycling revolution promised by David Cameron only last year isn't committing money to getting more people on their bikes.

Ministers want to increase the amount spent on cycling and walking from £5 per person to £10, but at present it is unclear how they intend to do this, a sorry state of affairs considering the promises David Cameron made last year.

Cycling charities are fighting to get a secure, long-term cycling budget in the upcoming Autumn Statement after David Cameron pledged £94 million for cycling projects in eight cities and four national parks.

Campaigners say the government's Cycling Delivery Plan talks about working with local government and businesses to 'explore' how they might raise more cash, rather than committing money to getting more people on a bike.

"This is a derisory plan not a delivery plan. The prime minister's 'cycling revolution' with its Penny Farthing budget is going nowhere unless the Chancellor finds funding for cycling in his Autumn Statement," Paul Tuohy, who is the Chief Executive of CTC, said.

"Cycling needs at least £10 a head if we are even to begin catching up with German, Dutch or Danish levels of cycle use."

Further support for the campaign has been given by former cyclist Chris Boardman, who says this is a chance for the government to back up their talk with solid action.

"The long-awaited cycling delivery plan is an un-missable opportunity for the government to put their money where their mouth is and truly give us the cycling revolution promised by David Cameron," Boardman said.

"If George Osborne isn't convinced he just needs to look at British Cycling's research paper which shows £17 billion savings for the NHS and a 25% increase in the mobility of our nation's poorest families."

Despite the increased pressure the government has continued to defended its strategy.

"We have doubled funding since 2010, with £374m committed between 2011 and 2015," Transport Minister Robert Goodwill said.

"We want cycling and walking to become the natural choices for shorter journeys, kick starting a cycling revolution that will remove barriers for a new generation of cyclists."

The plan will now go out for consultation with the final proposal due before the next general election.

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