Pedaller

DfT’s Cycling Delivery Plan doesn’t deliver

The Cycling Delivery Plan published for consultation in October 2014.

The Cycling Delivery Plan published for consultation in October 2014.

The DfT published a Cycling Delivery Plan just a couple hours before MPs debated (again) the Get Britain Cycling inquiry recommendations in October.

Earlier today, the DfT held a live but moderated ‘webchat’ to answer questions about the plan. For the past month, they have been doing a tour of the UK – which did not stop in London – to collect responses in person.

The consultation closes on the 13th November.

In a nutshell, I don’t think the delivery plan delivers.

Here is the response that I emailed to Walking.Cycling@dft.gsi.gov.uk for their consultation:

From: Andrew Reeves-Hall on 12 November 2014
To: Walking.Cycling@dft.gsi.gov.uk
Subject: Comments on DfT Cycling Delivery Plan (consultation)
Hi,

I read your ‘Cycling Delivery Plan’ which was published just hours before the Parliamentary Debate on Get Britain Cycling.

It must demand much, much more funding for cycling in a much, much shorter timeframe.

The Department for Transport released the statistics on road violence which show a marked increase in the number of people killed or serious injured: up 40% over the average.[1]

Robert Goodwill, the Cycling Minister, revealed that just 0.71% of the total DfT budget has been spent on cycling over the past 5 years.[2]

In today’s DfT webchat, you revealed that spending on cycling was £374m over 4 years. That works out to a miserly £1.46 per person [3].

You claimed in the webchat that “local contributions” bring that figure up to £5pp.

However, FOI have revealed that those “local contributions” are allocated to ZERO fully hard-segregated cycle routes. Instead they are likely spent on painted lines or education campaigns of dubious value (ie helmet, hi-viz promotion promotion).[4]

In comparison, the HS2 trainline is to cost £42.6bn for 330 miles of track, plus a further £7.5bn for the trains themselves.[5]

Another comparison: the DfT is to spend £15bn for 100 road upgrades which have little in the way or road danger reduction for people that choose to cycle. The present parliament is spending £9bn, for a total of £24bn.[6]

Campaign groups like ‘Stop Killing Cyclists’ are demanding that you invest £15 billion in a National Segregated Cycle Network over the next 5 years. That works out to £46.80pp which would bring the UK up to the standards seen in The Netherlands.[7]

This isn’t new funding but a reprioritisation of existing funding.

The DfT said last week that “for every £1 of public money spent, the funded schemes provide £5.50 worth of social benefit.” [8]

The DfT stated that the main benefits of the current, relatively small amounts invested in cycling schemes were: improved physical fitness, journey quality and decongestion of the roads.

The DfT concluded its report with: “This provides further confirmation that targeted investment into cycling can bring very strong returns to society”

Your Cycling Delivery Plan must be rewritten to state that £15 billion is invested over the next 5 years in a segregated bicycle network throughout the UK.

Cycling funding is truly an investment with a high rate of return.

~Andrew~

[FOOTNOTES]

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/reported-road-casualties-in-great-britain-provisional-estimates-apr-to-jun-2014
“Longer-term trends reveal that cyclists are the only class of road users among whom there has been a rise in serious injuries and fatalities when comparing data for the year to June 2014 against the 2005-09 average, up by 40 per cent.” — road.cc

[2] http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2014-11-03.213147.h
“The £438 million on cycling spend represents 0.71% of the total departmental spend for those years.”

[3] http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-27972335
“The Office for National Statistics estimated there were 64.1 million people in the UK in June 2013”

[4] http://pedaller.org.uk/2014/05/17/wall-of-death-hampshire/
For the period between the 1st of April 2014 and the 31st of March 2015, how much total money in pounds sterling from your borough’s transport budget has been, or will be, allocated to creating further, fully, hard-segregated cycle routes?”
FOI Answer: ZERO, ZERO and ZERO (Hampshire County, Southampton City, Portsmouth City)

[5] http://www.hs2.org.uk/about-hs2/facts-figures/route-trains-cost

[6] https://www.gov.uk/government/news/cbi-annual-conference-2014-prime-ministers-address
“over 100 improvements to our major roads…The Government’s £15 billion investment over the next Parliament (between 2015/16 to 2020/21) is the biggest upgrade to our roads in a generation. This means that over this Parliament and the next, we will have spent over £24bn on our nation’s major roads.”

[7] http://stopthekilling.org.uk/the-10-demands/
The 10 Demands:
– Stop the Killing of Children
– Stop the Killing of Pedestrians
– Stop the Killing of Pensioners from excessive speed.
– Stop the Killing of Cyclists.
– Stop the Killing by HGVs.
– Stop the Killing without liability.
– Stop the Killing from Lung, Heart and other Diseases caused by vehicular pollutants.
– Stop the Killing at Junctions.
– Stop the Killing from CO2 emissions from impacts of the climate crisis.
– Focus on Life! Transport governance must make safety and quality of life the top priority.

[8] https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/348943/vfm-assessment-of-cycling-grants.pdf

#ActionForRoads

Below is a graphic that the Highways Agency created and the Department for Transport promoted in a tweet back in August (and the Prime Minister referred to in his speech to the CBI earlier this week). It shows where the £24bn of “investment” in the roads will be made.

Highways Agency - Major Roads Schemes 2014-08-26

Infographic showing where £24bn is to be spent on road schemes in this and the next Parliament. Click for a larger version.

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