This article was published in 2013, in Newsletter 108.
The report Get Britain Cycling, by the Westminster All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group, highlights the benefits to society as a whole of spending significantly more on providing for bicycling. However, we need to hold the government to account and we expect these recommendations to be accepted and acted upon by the Prime Minister and departmental ministers.
The budget of £10 to £20 per head on cycling is an encouraging statement, but this must be set not only for the Department for Transport but also within local Highways Authorities. This means that Cambridgeshire County Council needs to fund bicycle infrastructure in Cambridge, the market towns, villages, and along the major roads between all these places.
The report recommends reducing urban residential speed limits to 20mph, offering Bikeability cycle training to all school children, and that developers should consider bicycles and pedestrians at an early stage. These are all areas that we have been actively supporting over many years. We are very concerned that the police do not seem to be interested in enforcing the law when it comes to speed limits, especially on rural roads where most of the deaths of people on bicycles occur in Cambridgeshire.
Martin Lucas-Smith, chairman of Cambridge Cycling Campaign, said ‘This is an exciting report that recognises the value of funding infrastructure to get more people cycling, not only for reducing congestion but also reducing NHS costs and increasing productivity of businesses. We challenge Cambridge-shire County Council to fund the reallocation of road space to enable more children, workers, and shoppers to travel safely along the main routes into Cambridge. Where routes from villages to Cambridge have been significantly improved, it has led to big increases in cycle use’.
The Times has started a petition calling on the Prime Minister to pledge that the Government will implement the recommendations in the Get Britain Cycling report. The text, and the government’s initial response, are at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/49196 – please add your name and encourage others to do the same.