Pedaller

Legacy of Tour de France: Car-centric local growth deals

People came out in their millions to watch the Tour de France in Yorkshire (pic Gary Verity)

People came out in their millions to watch the Tour de France in Yorkshire (pic Gary Verity)

On the day that the Tour de France cycling sport racers come to southern England, the government announce even more money to support the country’s car culture.

Over £2 billion is going to be spent in 39 ‘local growth deals‘ including £118 million in towns like Basingstoke along the M3 corridor (aka ‘Enterprise M3‘) for example:

  • Basingstoke North Corridor A340 – Partial dualling of the A340 that will reduce business based congestion and unlock housing development in the Basingstoke area.
  • Basingstoke north eastern corridor to growth: A33 capacity improvements;

FEEDING THE ADDICTION

It is almost with glee that the local press in Basingstoke reported on the town’s new “hamburger” junction engineering work getting under way. Apt name that given the obesity crisis facing the nation.

Creating Dutch quality infrastructure for cycling would go a long way to reducing congestion on Basingstoke’s roads and make it more appealing for all the people looking to buy some of those new houses; Repeated across the country, millions of people would be enticed to hop on their bicycles to get to school or down to the shops.

But just as the Basingstoke Top of Town master plan has shown, little has been done to support cycling in our local communities. Similar is played out across the UK.

TdF cyclists race past crashed cars (screengrab from TdF coverage)

TdF cyclists race past crashed cars (screengrab from TdF coverage)

ACTION FOR ROADS (AGAIN)

The Prime Minister David Cameron said he wanted a ‘cycling revolution‘ but when it comes time to allocate funding, he prefers “driving growth” of continued car use. The PM says today,

This money will be used to invest in things that really matter: better roads and railways, more houses, more jobs and more opportunities for young people.

One year ago, the government announced their ‘Action for Roads’ which was all about billions for roads with little going towards cycling, as I highlighted then.

IGNORING THE SUPPORT

The Get Britain Cycling inquiry recommendations: all but ignored.

The Space for Cycling demands: all but ignored.

The Tour de France: millions of people show their support.

The Cycling Revolution is already underway; but the Government and Department for Transport choose to ignore the Prime Minister’s wish and the public’s appetite to reduce road danger.

Below – a map showing all the ‘growth deals‘…

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