Government increasingly isolated on cycling policy

On Monday evening, 100 MPs of all parties voted unanimously in support of a motion welcoming the findings of the Get Britain Cycling report, in particular its recommendation of consistent funding for cycling, at a level of at least £10 per person, per year.

The next day the Labour transport minister Maria Eagle unveiled her party's 8-point manifesto for cycling, which included a commitment to 'long-term funding of the infrastructure needed for dedicated separate safe cycling routes', with a recommendation that a proportion of the roads budget is ringfenced for building cycling infrastructure. She argued that

The priority for investment to support cycling must be dedicated separated infrastructure to create safe routes

Similarly the Liberal Democrats have included cycling policy recommendations on the Agenda of their forthcoming Autumn conference. Again, there is a call for a £10 per person, per year, cycling budget, rising to £20, with a policy commitment of 'high-quality' segregated cycle infrastructure.

Earlier this year the Conservative Mayor of London Boris Johnson also recognised the case for investment in cycling, and the creation of safe, pleasant infrastructure that aims to make riding a bike a simple and easy choice for everyone in London.

So it seems it is now only the current Conservative leadership that do not seem to grasp the necessity of serious investment in cycling infrastructure, and the need for urgent action. As we argued last week, in rejecting all but a handful of the Get Britain Cycling Inquiry's minimal recommendations, the Government is continuing to fail cycling as a mode of transport, a failure not masked by their announcement of tiny sums of intermittent funding.

The case now has to be made for not investing heavily in making cycing a mode of transport available to all - not the other way around. The Conservatives are increasingly standing outside mainstream thinking.