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Government response to Get Britain Cycling report

Posted on in Cycles News

The Department for Transport issued a response to the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group's 'Get Britain Cycling' report on Wednesday.

In April, the APPCG produced the ‘Get Britain Cycling' report, which included 18 recommendations to entice more cycle use among the British public and to improve the safety of cyclists.

On Wednesday the Department for Transport, on behalf of the Government, responded to the report's recommendations.

Unveiling the government's response, minister for cycling, Norman Baker, said "The coalition government takes cycling very seriously and we are committed to leading the country in getting more people cycling, more safely, more often."

"Many of the recommendations put forward by the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group mirror those that we are already taking forward so we are ahead on some of the challenges which have been set for us.

"However we are keen to go further and faster. The £94 million announced by the Prime Minister earlier this month is an excellent boost and will help to encourage even more people to take to 2 wheels."

The DfT's response addresses each of the 18 recommendations made in the Get Britain Cycling report in turn. Some of the responses are highly encouraging, and some are downright dismissive.

Many will feel that the Get Britain Cycling report presented the perfect opportunity to go "further and faster," and that in its response, the government has failed to do just that.

The first recommendation by the APPCG report was that a cycling budget be created amounting to £10 per person per year, increasing to £20. The DfT response is that in some areas the amount is now £18 when local authority contributions are included, but these only include key cities rather than the country as a whole. The £10-per-head minimum spend is a cornerstone of cycle policy in Britain going forward to generate the funding required to change infrastructure in favour of cyclists.

Roger Geffen, CTC Campaigns and Policy Director commented: "The Government has made welcome progress in the past 18 months on boosting the funding and priority for cycling, yet there is an awful lot more still to be done. We urge political leaders of all parties to support MPs' calls for sustained funding for cycling of at least £10 per person annually, and to ensure high standards of cycle-friendliness are designed into all new road and traffic schemes."

The recommendations largely dismissed by the DfT were: to appoint a national 'Cycling Champion'; and to set national targets for an increase in the number of cycle journeys in Britain, which respectively received the following response from DfT: "The Government has no plans to appoint a national Cycling Champion" and "The Government does not believe that to set national targets for cycling will encourage take up at local level."

More encouragingly, the DfT response states that there will be a sentencing review for dangerous driving offences in 2014, for which Cycling Weekly and British Cycling launched a joint campaign in May 2012.

The Government's response to the 18 recommendations in the ‘Get Britain Cycling' report can be seen in full here.

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