Transport Committee calls for cycling budget of £10 per head

12.00 | 18 July 2014 | | 5 comments

The Government should set a cycling budget of £10 per head by 2020 to improve the safety of cyclists, according to the Transport Committee.

This is a key recommendation in a Transport Committee report published today (18 July) which examines how roads can be made safer for cyclists.

The Committee says this level of investment “is essential to fund long-term development of cycling infrastructure and to make our roads safer for cycling”.

It also calls for a “cultural change across Government, so that all departments work together to fund and facilitate support for cycling”.

Louise Ellman MP, chair of the Transport Committee said: “Cyclists have told us the dangers they face every day from a lack of cycling infrastructure, poorly-designed junctions and aggressive driving.

“Spending on cycling is currently estimated to be just £2 per head. To make the necessary improvements to cycling infrastructure and training, we call for spending to be increased to £10 per head by 2020.

“Investing in cycling will make the roads safer for all users, and encourage more people to cycle and walk.

“Drivers and cyclists should be encouraged to share the road safely, to treat each other with respect and to comply with the law.

“The DfT should support local authorities to make it easier and cheaper for them to introduce 20 mile an hour speed limits in high-risk areas.

“The road haulage and construction sectors must pursue best practice to improve their road safety record. It’s vital they curb the high number of big vehicles – such as concrete and tipper lorries – involved in fatal collisions with cyclists.

“Transport ministers must demonstrate clear political leadership by championing cycling and the DfT must coordinate action across Government on this vital agenda.”

The report says that road safety measures should “aim to curb the number of cycling casualties while increasing the overall number of cyclists on the road”. It says that achieving both these goals will require steps to improve “actual and perceived levels of safety for cyclists”.

Other recommendations include:
• Safe cycling should be made an integral part of the design for all new infrastructure projects. Local authorities should be required to demonstrate that cycling was considered and incorporated into the design of new roads at the earliest stage, and that local cyclists were consulted as part of this process.
• The disproportionate number of HGVs involved in collisions with cyclists demonstrates that the industry must improve its road safety record.
• Cycle training should be available to all cyclists: children in primary and secondary school, adults seeking to gain confidence, and those looking to refresh their road skills.
• DVSA must ensure that drivers are tested—in the practical test if possible, and certainly via the theory test—on their approach to sharing the road with cyclists.
• Government should reassess its approach to road safety awareness and set out the steps it will take to ensure a clear and consistent message of mutual respect between all road users and compliance with the law by cyclists and drivers.
• Government should consider amending the Highway Code to promote cycle safety and ensure that it reflects the rights of cyclists to share the road with drivers.


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    Great idea! Cyclists should be licensed and insured, so they can pay the £10 per head.

    Martyn London
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    Love the idea that DVSA must ensure that drivers are tested— in the practical test if possible, and certainly via the theory test— on their approach to sharing the road with cyclists. However cycle training “should” be available to all cyclists! How about a must be undertaken by all cyclists and put the onus on the cyclists safety primarily on the cyclist.

    Will a 20mph speed limit reduce the left turning HGV/cyclist incidents? The report is both well thought out and needed but with Labour saying that if they get into power they will try to balance the books have we missed the boat yet again for congestion free sustainable healthy travel options?

    Peter Westminster
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    £10 per head is a normal way of expressing costs for such things. Yes there is a cost in restoring cycling levels but there are savings to the NHS in short, medium and long terms. Savings on improvements for motor traffic to cut congestion and many other savings which have been calculated at more than £10 per head for just the NHS!

    Mark, Caerphilly
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    I stated right from the outset that there would be a cost to the implementation, education, training, restructuring of roads, advertising etc. of cyclists.

    This is not the beginning, already we have spent over one hundred million in various forms through gifts to charities and to other organisations who no matter how peripheral but who might have an interest. Also Local Authorities for training and supported endeavours and who have also financially contributed something towards their own cycling initiatives. Next will be legislation in favour of cyclists. That will have a cost also.

    bob craven Lancs
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    Surely it’s misleading to say “£10 per head” because we will not each pay £10? Why don’t they say what they are actually wanting, which is £700,000,000 of taxpayers money? And is it £700,000,000 as a once only tax or is it £700,000,000 every year? Can we afford it and, since it will be borrowed money, is it fair to burden future generations with such a debt?

    It may well be that this is a good value investment but we must bear in mind that resources are finite. To pay for this scheme, we must have fewer Police officers or lower funding for the NHS or some other savings. Perhaps we need to evaluate schemes like this by placing them within comparisons with other proposals, that’s what each of us does when we spend our own money.

    Dave Finney, Slough
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