Sustrans and the CTC have both announced they are relatively pleased
with the DETR’s Ten-Year Transport Plan, published yesterday
With the 20 percent boost in cash from the Comprehensive Spending Review, John Prescott’s
Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions has ambitious plans.
Cycling features in them. Not massively, but the thought’s there and both the CTC
and Sustrans have said nice things about the Plan. Sustrans have greater cause for
happiness: Safe Routes to School gets extra cash.
The extra funding for Safe Routes to Schools projects and Local Government Five Year
Transport Plans – LTP’s – (these are bids from Local Authorities to central Government
for funding) increase the likely success of schemes offering people transport choices
by encouraging cycling, walking and integrated transport. Improvements in local infrastructure
would also help social inclusion by improving travel for children and those who have
no access to a car.
John Grimshaw, Sustrans Director and Chief Engineer, said: "We are pleased that
the Government is giving people options other than just using the car. The extra
money for Safe Routes to Schools schemes is very welcome, the school run adds significantly
to our congestion problems, but we have to address transport as a whole. We would
like to see some of the extra funds for rail used to address how people get to and
from a station. Sustrans is already working with Railtrack to progress Safe Routes
to Stations. Providing routes and secure storage facilities for people who want to
ride a bike to a station will be much cheaper than putting in extra car parking spaces.
Likewise anyone using a train should have the option to take a bike with them and
use it at their destination."
A recent Mori poll, conducted for the Commission for Integrated Transport, showed
that 81% of people want improvements in provision for cycling – including more cycle
lanes and cycle parking.
This concurs with another Mori poll carried out to coincide with the opening of the
National Cycle Network that showed 87% of the population would like to see the government
and Local Authorities create more safe cycle routes.
The CTC has given the Plan a guarded welcome:
"CTC is pleased that a target for cycling has been retained and welcomes the
extra money for road safety and for local transport. This puts us on track to increase
cycle use and decrease road casualties, which is good news," said Kevin Mayne
of the CTC.
"However, the Government has ignored any commitment to reducing road traffic
and watered down its target of quadrupling cycling by 2012. Ministers now want to
treble the number of cycle trips by 2010. This is a cop out. Rather than addressing
the lack of progress in the last three years the Government has just reduced the
target. CTC will be working hard to ensure this is not repeated over the life of
"We do not oppose bypasses or road widening in principle but cyclists do have
to use or cross these routes and will feel the impact of increased traffic Has the
effect of this been included in the final sums and will our views be heard?"
Extra funding for rail is welcomed by the CTC but cyclists’ access to the system
"Cyclists must be able to reach stations, park bikes safely and take them on
trains as much as practicable. These are points [we] will take up with the new Strategic
Rail Authority," said Mayne.