Thursday, 6 June 2013

Cameron jeopardises 'Get Britain Cycling' report by refusing to give it Cabinet backing

 ‘Get Britain Cycling’ jeopardised by Prime Minister David Cameron’s refusal to provide Cabinet backing

LEADING transport commentator Christian Wolmar says it will be an “utter cop-out” if Prime Minister David Cameron’s refusal to provide Cabinet backing for the report ‘Get Britain Cycling’ - when it was published in April – sees cycling development left to Local Authorities.

Now, less than a month to go before the e-petition to trigger a parliamentary debate – which is still short of the 100,000 signatures this requires – I asked Wolmar, CTC Ambassador and a candidate for Mayor of London, what this report needs.

 “It needs a lead from central government to take responsibility, to provide inspiration and initiative,” he replied.

 “We need a strong government impetus behind this. When Holland changed its policy and went over to encourage cycle use that was a national policy brought about by protests about death in the 1970s. (now 27 per cent of all journeys are by bike in Holland, compared to less than 2 per cent in Britain) 

“You really need a government to draw out strong guidelines for the LA’s to channel money in the right direction. A lot of these levers are in government hands.

“I think it is an utter cop out to leave to LA’s. The tone and rules are set by government.”

 However, CTC Campaigns Chief Roger Geffen says don’t give up on the ‘Get Britain Cycling report yet.

The CTC has had high-level talks with Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin, building the economic case for substantial investment for cycling in George Osborne’s forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review.

Geffen says, “The DfT’s cycling team are working on getting other government departments to line up behind it, and (hopefully) securing backing from No. 10.”

*The Get Britain Cycling Report wants roads made safe for cycling and calls for

spending to increase from the current £2 per head of population to £12.50 per person. The Dutch spend £24 per person per year.

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