More money should be spent on promoting and enabling cycling, according to two thirds of MPs questioned in a new survey, echoing the recent sentiments of the people across the UK.
The survey, commissioned by Sustrans and completed by Dods, questioned 93 MPs and found that, on average, they wanted £26 per person to be spent on cycling infrastructure each year.
Previously the UK Government has promised to raise spending to £10 per person annually in England – a modest target, but one which would help to boost cycling levels slowly in the long term. In contrast, the total transport spend is around £300 per person annually.
Spending on cycling to drop below £1 per person
But our research shows that the current level of investment in England, outside London, is just £4, and after April next year we will see this already low level drop below £1 per person.
As we head towards this funding cliff for walking and cycling in England we are urging the public to write to their MP and demand long-term and sizeable funding.
Claire Francis, Campaigns Manager at Sustrans
“ The UK Government must act to secure a greater share of current transport investment for cycling and walking in England. ”
To prevent this, the Department for Transport must intervene and commit to interim arrangements following this month’s Spending Review, and go on to create an ambitious Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy.
The MP survey results echo the largest survey on cycling attitudes ever conducted, released last month, which questioned 11,000 people across the UK and found that they wanted on average £26 per person to be spent on cycling annually.
The Bike Life project showed that even people who don’t ride a bike recognised the importance of building bike lanes and funding other projects to boost cycling: 71% of those who said that they never used a bike still backed an increase in spending, rising to 87% among those who frequently ride a bike.
Claire Francis, Campaigns Manager at Sustrans, said:
“Last month we polled the general public and they displayed an overwhelming desire to cycle more, but complained that a lack of safe places to ride is off-putting. Now we have MPs telling the same story; they want far greater investment. Physical inactivity, congestion and declining air quality cost our economy billions.”
“The Spending Review in November is the perfect opportunity to do just that. The UK Government must ensure the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy is ambitious and guarantees long-term funding for active travel.”