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Roads to Nowhere

Local areas must move away from motoring investment if ambitious cycling plan is to succeed

16 October 2014
Campaign for Better Transport has welcomed the draft Cycling Delivery Plan published today by the Department for Transport, but called for the Government to do more to support a change in local spending priorities.

In the draft Delivery Plan [2], the Government calls on local authorities to commit funding in order to achieve a spend of £10 per head on cycling and walking, meaning that Local Enterprise Partnerships, who now control the majority of this funding, are vital.

James MacColl, Head of Campaigns, Campaign for Better Transport said:

“Campaign for Better Transport commends this commitment to making cycling and walking the natural choice for many more journeys - but achieving this aim is a big task. For instance, the £10 per head target for spending on cycling and walking will need Local Enterprise Partnerships to change their focus dramatically from discredited road-building schemes to cycling and walking investment. LEPs' planned spending on new and widened roads increased this year, leaving public transport, walking and cycling with a smaller share of public funds. If the Delivery Plan is to succeed, it will need national Government to work more closely with LEPs in prioritising smarter, sustainable transport planning across the country.”

Campaigners also called for a clearer approach to larger vehicles on the road in order to make cycling safe. Philippa Edmunds, Freight on Rail Manager, Campaign for Better Transport, said:

“Given that lorries were involved in over half cyclist deaths in London while only making up 5% of the traffic in the past two years [4], it is disappointing that the draft Delivery Plan downplays the risks and perceived dangers of HGVs for cyclists [5] If the Government is serious about improving safety for cyclists around HGVs, it must support current European Parliament proposals to introduce new safer HGV cab designs [6] which can save hundreds of lives immediately and not allow France and Sweden to delay the revised designs until after 2025 at this final stage of the EU process [7] after pressure from certain truck manufacturers.[8]  

ENDS

For further information please contact Chloë Darlington at Campaign for Better Transport, on 020 7566 6483 / 07984 773 468 or chloe.darlington@bettertransport.org.uk.

Notes to Editors
 

  1. Campaign for Better Transport is the UK's leading authority on sustainable transport. We champion transport solutions that improve people's lives and reduce environmental damage. Our campaigns push innovative, practical policies at local and national levels. Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).
  2. The Department for Transport’s draft Cycling Delivery Plan is available for PDF download below.
  3. Campaign for Better Transport commented on the imbalance of LEP spending on roads compared to sustainable transport in July 2014: http://www.bettertransport.org.uk/discredited-road-schemes-must-not-prevail-over-smart-sustainable-travel-choices
  4. Statistics on cycling accidents available for PDF download below.
  5. Theme 4: Safety and Perception of Safety in today’s Cycling Delivery Plan
  6. The new design will allow more direct vision to reduce blind spots and has a crumple zone to make sure pedestrians and cyclists are not knocked underneath the wheels in a collision.
  7. Trialogue negotiations on the revision of the weights and dimensions directive 96/53 are due to commence on 22.10.2014.
  8. Volvo and Renault are leading the push for delaying the new designs because they wish to prevent competitors from developing new designs before they can. Government Ministers must support changes this law to allow (but not mandate) more aerodynamic, safer lorry designs.