Are the Tories really serious about supporting cycling? A big caveat is that the announced £2bn over five years keeps cycle funding flat. With that sum, the government is only forecast to get a third of the way to its target of doubling the percentage of cycle trips people take – from 2% of all journeys in 2015 to 4% by 2025. According to the Walking and Cycling Alliance, a network of active travel bodies, £5-6bn is needed over the next five years to achieve the target. By contrast, the latest road building bonanza resulted in £27bn being allocated for 4,000 miles of roads. Vouchers for cycle repairs are welcome to help bring old bikes out of sheds into safe use, but electric bike subsidies – similar to those for electric cars – would have been good. As ebikes extend the distances people can cycle, with more widespread use one in five people in the UK could cycle to work. In Manchester last week, the city’s cycling and walking commissioner, Chris Boardman, asked the government to permit zebra crossings across side roads without Belisha beacons – something common across Europe but currently illegal in the UK. That hasn’t happened yet, but would represent an extremely progressive move.
Guardian 11th May 2020 read more »