A512/M1 junction proposals
Campaign member Anthony Kay has produced a response to initial proposals for this and associated junctions. These were his comments.
More details of the proposals together with drawing can be found here .
The cycling revolution that wasn’t
With the proportion of adults in England cycling at least once a week falling, and the number of cycling trips flatlining, there was little evidence of a cycling revolution from the latest National Travel Survey (NTS) walking and cycling statistics or from the Active Lives Survey (both covering England). The Government’s Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS) targets include doubling levels of cycling in England by 2025.
There isn’t much sign of achieving this ambition when:
- The proportion of adults cycling at least once a week fell from 12% in 2015-16 to 11% in 2017-18.
- At 17, the average number of cycle trips per person in 2018 is exactly the same as it was in 2017 (there has been a 5% decline since 2002).
- While people cycled 50% further in 2018 compared to 2002, the number of cycling trips has remained static in recent years, so what we’re seeing is existing cyclists clocking up more miles, not more people cycling.
Government leadership and ambition required
Following a consultation, the Transport Select Committee has called on Government to set more ambitious targets and increase funding, to boost access to, and uptake of, cycling and walking.
It concludes that Ministers must signal to local authorities and the public that active travel is a priority with long-term benefits for individuals and the country as a whole.
It recommends that the Government revises its Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy as current targets are not ambitious enough, and states that there is a compelling case for the Government to set higher targets and also devise a strategy for enabling people to get out of their cars and make the switch to active travel for short trips or as part of a longer journey.
Funding for active travel is piecemeal and complex, says the Report. The £2 billion which the Government has said will be spent on active travel in this Parliament is welcome but equates to £400 million a year. This is a tiny sum compared with spending on other areas of transport, just 1.5% of total Government transport spending. The reports can be found here.
Investing in cycling makes sense and money
Transport for London (TfL) has published “Walking and Cycling: the economic benefits”. Its findings include:
- The average ‘Benefit Cost Ratio’ (BCR) for walking and cycling projects is 13:1, meaning that for every £1 spent on walking and cycling, there is a £13 benefit. That’s officially ‘very high’ as 2:1 is considered a ‘high’ value-for-money project for transport projects.
- Cycling contributes £5.4 billion each year to the UK economy.
- Walking and cycling improvements boost the high street and local town centres, and can increase retail spend by up to 30%.
- Over a month, people who walk to the high street spend up to 40% more than people who drive there.
- Abroad - sales tax revenue rose by two thirds in Los Angeles after cycle lanes were built.
- Employees who cycle take on average 1.3 fewer sick days each year than those who don’t – worth £128 million to the national economy.
- In London alone, if every Londoner walked or cycled for 20 minutes each day, that would save the NHS £1.7billion in treatment costs over 25 years.
Proposed 'top five' measures
The UK’s cycling and walking commissioners (Chris Boardman, Will Norman, Shanaze Reade, Lee Craigie, Dame Sarah Storey and Simon O’Brien) have urged the Government to commit to long-term funding for active travel. They have proposed the following measures:
- Commit to long-term devolved funding.
- A political commitment to minimum quality levels.
- Local retention of fixed penalty notices to fund road danger reduction measures.
- Enable innovation by keeping road traffic regulations under review.
- Transport investment decisions should account for the true cost of car use to society.
Chris Boardman is quoted as saying “We asked the government for practical things, not pie in the sky, and how they can really help us move quickly.
This does not have to be about lots of money, it is just knowing there will be an ongoing amount each year. If you are serious about this, you must have consistent funding - you can’t do it on a grant basis. Councils can’t employ people not knowing if this money going to be there in three years or not. They are not going to invest in training if there isn’t consistent funding.
Local authorities should be allowed carry out fining for moving traffic offences, with revenue retained locally rather than going to the Treasury. This means that funds generated could be invested back into the local community. People would see that the fines are going back into making their area and, in some cases their street, safer.
Ultimately, the aim would be to remove the need for major enforcement activity when casualty rates are drastically reduced through the provision of self-enforcing road infrastructure and change to road user behaviour.”
Bike to School Week - 23rd to 27th September
Organised by Sustrans and supported by the Bikeability Trust, Bike to School Week celebrates cycling to school and the benefits of active travel for children.
Current figures show that only 2% of primary school children in England currently travel to school by cycle. This is a stark contrast to cycling levels elsewhere such as in the Netherlands, where cycling is the main mode of transport for 49% of primary school children.
To support schools throughout Bike to School Week, there are a range of resources available, including school posters plus a five-day pack of daily activities to be completed in class and a video guide with simple practices to check bikes are safe to ride.
If you have contacts with your local schools please encourage them to use the week to promote cycling. More details can be found here.
Road safety action plan announced
The Government has announced a range of new measures to improve road safety in its 2019 road safety statement. Amongst the 74 actions are a number which may benefit cyclists, including consideration of ‘Graduated Driving Licences’ and a review of roads policing (following 44% cuts between 2008 and 2017 in England).