Cycling England Annual Report 2007-08

In the foreword to our last annual
report, I referred to the day our
budget was doubled to £10m a
year as ‘a landmark for cycling’.
Just 18 months later, on 21st
January 2008, the Government
took the historic decision to award
£140m to Cycling England over the
next three years: not so much a
landmark for cycling as a genuine
endorsement of the role of the
bicycle in helping meet England’s
transport, health and environmental

This funding will, quite simply, have a
transformational effect on cycling in
England. It will allow half a million 10-
year-olds across England to take part in
Bikeability – the cycling proficiency for
the 21st century – by 2012. It will build
another 250 Safe Links to Schools,
connecting around 500 more schools
to the National Cycle Network. And
as a result of the investment, we have
already identified the next generation
of Cycling Towns in England, as well as
the first Cycling City.

These initiatives will give millions
more people across England the
chance to experience the benefits of
cycling: improved health, quieter roads,
cleaner air and the exhilarating feeling
of freedom and independence that
cycling brings. Fundamentally, it will
make a real difference to the way we
travel – to work and to school – as well
as in our leisure time.

Such levels of investment would not be
possible without compelling evidence
that increased and sustained levels
of funding for cycling could have a
substantial impact on individuals,
communities and the environment.
The economic modelling research that
informed our funding strategy, Bike for
the Future II, demonstrated that the rate
of return from investment in cycling is
extremely attractive. It showed for the
first time that investment in a range of
cycling programmes could deliver a
rate of return of between 3:1 and 4.5:1
over a 10-year period.

Individual programmes within our
original six Cycling Towns, for example,
prove that when you provide the right
facilities and support, more people
get on their bikes. Darlington has
quadrupled the proportion of children
cycling to school, while Aylesbury has
seen an increase from 3% to 11% in
residents using a bike as one of their
two main means of transport in the last
two years. Proven successes such as
these have enabled us to expand the
programme so that we now have 17
Cycling Towns around the country and
our first ever Cycling City in Bristol.
Equipping the next generation of
cyclists with the skills to ride confidently
in today’s road conditions remains a
key priority for Cycling England. Our
plans to get children on their bikes are
gaining momentum. Bikeability is well
and truly on the map: half of all local
authorities are now offering the training
and by the end of the year 100,000
more children will have received their
badges and certificates.

More people cycling, more safely,
more often remains Cycling England’s
goal. Even before January, we were
already on our way to achieving this,
but with the Government’s new and
significant investment, we are now able
to have a true impact on the way we
travel in the future.

Phillip Darnton
Chairman, Cycling England

Hard copy in CAN library, or online.