In response to the release of yesterday’s budget, Cycling UK has stated that the new proposals overlook and, “ignore small towns and rural communities.”
Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s Head of Campaigns, said: “Overall this Budget fails to provide sufficient funding for rural communities and small towns, with the focus on our larger cities and the major road network.
“Our streets are congested, our public’s health failing and the environment suffering – and instead of spending on measures to address this like encouraging cycling and walking, more money is being disproportionately ploughed into motorways and highways which make up two percent of our roads network.”
In his budget, Philip Hammond allocated £420 million to fund road maintenance and fix the nation’s potholes.
Dollimore responded: “Spending money on new motorways does nothing to address the concerns of people who use local roads for everyday travel. Cycling UK believes the Government should adopt a fix it first policy towards roads before building more.”
Cycling UK is currently campaigning for authorities to receive funding that will allow them to implement local cycling and walking infrastructure plans that the Government has encouraged them to draw up.
Dollimore said: “Cycling UK, along with other walking and cycling organisations, is calling for the Government to allocate five percent of its transport budget on active travel rising to 10 percent in time. Only with adequate funding will the Government see the nation moving healthily and safely.
“Towns and villages throughout rural England are still waiting for funding to help them meet the Government’s own plans to increase cycling and walking in the country – and at this rate it looks as though Godot might arrive before that happens.”
Of the £90 million set aside for “future mobility zones” and e-Bikes, Dollimore said: “Cycling UK is encouraged to see the Government helping authorities investing in alternative methods for people to travel around their cities rather than the petrol or diesel driven car, such as e-bikes. Considering the subsidies available for every other type of electric vehicle, from e-vans to e-scooters, we hope this is a step towards the Government making subsidies for e-bikes more widely available.”
The Government also released plans for business rate relief in yesterday’s budget.