Cycling is to be the focus of a new national plan to be published by the government this autumn.
Building Britain's Future, the policy blueprint unveiled by Prime
Minister Gordon Brown on Monday (29 June), says the National Cycle Plan
will set out the role that local authorities, public transport
providers, employers and schools, can play in delivering a cycling
revolution across Britain.
The document says the national cycling budget has increased in recent
years to £60 million annually and has seen the introduction of 18 Cycle
Demonstration Towns. Cycling has doubled in London since 1997 and
ministers are keen to build upon this success to promote cycling as a
mainstream form of personal transport across Britain.
To complement the National Cycle Plan the government will also publish
an active transport strategy which will set out plans to encourage low
carbon transport options that also promote personal health and well
being. The Department for Transport and Department for Health will
deliver this joint plan by the end of 2009.
Following recent funding announcements to support the development of
low-carbon cars, Building Britain's Future commits the government to
investing £250 million to help the UK to become a world leader in
ultra-low carbon vehicle technology. It also promises incentives to
encourage transport operators to introduce low carbon buses as well as
pledging to reform bus subsidies to provide "next generation transport"
for towns and cities.
The Campaign for Better Transport has welcomed the transport policies
set out within the document. Executive director Stephen Joseph said:
"The commitments for a new national cycling plan and a joint 'active
travel' strategy with the Health Department are welcome, and we look
forward to a rail electrification commitment with real funding
attached. However, on the ground, many local councils continue to plan
expensive and destructive road schemes and, in places like Manchester,
are paying for them by cutting funds for cycling, walking and local
Joseph added: "The government is about to decide on regional funding
bids which include almost £4bn for new roads. If ministers accept these
bids and continue to widen motorways, cycling, public transport and
active travel will continue to be undermined and starved of the funds