We find out in this Question and Answer session if the Prime Minister will do for cycling what he did for Brexit, and “Get Cycling Done”.
|Copenhagen, capital of Denmark and capital place for cyclists|
When in fact, it turns out cycling gets only £350m of that lump sum, which is no dam use at all if we are ever to aspire to the standards set in Holland and Denmark.
Especially when you compare this piddling amount to the £1.2bn needed
for Manchester’s proposed 1,800 miles of cycle lanes.
The facts of the matter are that funding for cycling alone needs to be between £6bn and £7bn across five years to be effective.
And the Great Britain Cycling Report produced by the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group in 2012 provides a thorough guide on how the roads are to be made safer for cycling. But nothing came that.
In this Q&A, Cycling OK, the national cyclists’ organisation, talks to the PM on that well-known imaginary cyclists’ channel, Skull Cinema.
As every racing cyclist knows, Skull Cinema is the go-to place when training. It allows us to imagine all manner of things in our little heads as we ride along. I still sometimes act out riding my local hills alongside the greatest cyclist of all time, Eddy Merckx.
Other people might imagine they are listening to the great statesman Winston Churchill telling them how wonderful he thinks they are.
So, without more ado, over to Skull Cinema for this exclusive Q and A with the PM.
Question: Prime Minister, you will recall the sorry fate of the “Get Britain Cycling Report” published way back in 2012 when the PM at the time, your friend Dave, agreed it was a very good report but declined to give it Cabinet backing.
Prime Minister: Yes, Let’s Get Cycling Done. Bring it on. I must tell you I’ve brought with me my trusted Special Advisor. He’s a rather intense man and it might surprise you to know he has a nice smile, an image which is completely at odds with that presented by the press which paints a picture of a sinister looking snarler.
Ques: Yes, thank you, Prime Minister. But will you give the Get Britain Cycling Report the go-ahead with full cabinet backing?
PM: Humph, ah, well piffle paffle. Cycling is, as we all know, fantastic way of getting around…. Fantastic, brilliant, as you know I used to be a cyclist….Now I ride indoors on a Zwift turbo trainer – virtual reality cycling. Roads far too dangerous. Can’t think why something isn’t done…
Ques: Turning to the Special Advisor (SA):
Is the PM saying he will give the Get Britain Cycling Report full cabinet backing?
SPECIAL ADVISOR (SA): No.
Ques: Prime Minister, the Report calls for government to ensure that local and national bodies, such as the Highways Agency, Department for Transport and local government allocate funding to cycling. Will you do this?
PM: Ah, quite right to want this. Brilliant, fantastic…ah. And if I may I say so….Let’s get cycling done…
Ques: to the SA. Will he do this?
Ques: Prime Minister, should cycle funding also come from Health, Education, Sport Business budgets?
PM: I do think…er…yes. Let me tell you, we will, we will be building 40 new hospitals overnight…linked by 250 miles of cycle lanes…
Ques: turning again to SA, is that a yes from the PM?
Ques: Prime Minister, the GBCR calls for a statutory requirement that the needs of cyclists and pedestrians be considered at an early stage of all the new development schemes, from housing to business development, as well as traffic and transport schemes, including funding through the planning system. This isn’t happening. Can you implement this?
PM: Ah, can you repeat the question?
Ques: OK, Prime Minister, the ….
Ques: Prime Minister, existing design guidance needs to be revised to include more cycle parking, and an audit process to help planners, engineers and architects to think bike in all their work.
Will your government undertake to fulfil this?
PM. Hmm….I can only say….Let’s get cycling done…
Ques: The report calls for the Department for Transport to approve and update necessary new regulations, such as allowing separate traffic lights for cyclists.
Will you action this?
Ques: Prime Minister, Will you call for a major redesign of roundabouts on the lines of the Dutch system to provide cyclists with priority at roundabouts?
PM: I must say I do think …
Ques: Prime Minister. As you know, cycle commuting as distinct from leisure cycling, accounts for between only 1 to 2 per cent of journeys made in England – whereas in Holland it is 28 per cent. Will your government increase funding for cycling from around £7 per head to £20 per head (which is still less than the Dutch spend) to make cycling conditions safer and put more bums on bikes?
PM: Ah, well……..
Ques: Prime Minister, will your government……………..
Ques: Prime Minister, will you say….?
Ques: Prime Minister, Can you…?
Ques: Prime Minister, Can…?