William Eichler 26 February 2020

Councils spend average of £2 per head on cycling infrastructure, study reveals

Councils spend average of £2 per head on cycling infrastructure, study reveals image

Local authorities have spent on average just £2 per head of population per year on cycling infrastructure over the last ten years, new research reveals.

Freedom of information requests to 55 English unitary authorities by Nottingham Trent researchers Dr Seamus Allison and Aoife Allison elicited data from 25 councils.

The data showed that the average spend per head of population was £2.02 on average over ten years. In 2018/19 the average spend was £2.83 and the five-year average was £2.58.

There was a wide range of spends across the authorities. The highest spend per head of population was £8.58 on average across the 10 years and the lowest was £0.03.

‘There have been various promises made by Government over the last 10 years regarding cycling,’ said Dr Allison.

‘This includes the prime minister’s recent pledge of £350m to create 250 miles of cycling infrastructure in 51 target cities. However, it has been pointed out that this would deliver on average under five miles per city and is just £1 spend per head.’

The Cycling & Walking Alliance is calling for the Government’s investment to be at least 5% of transport spend in 2020, to rise to a minimum of 10% over the next five years. In terms of spend per head of population this equates to £17 in 2020/21 and rising by 2024/25 to £34 per head.

Nineteen authorities commented that they did not separately record the spend on cycling infrastructure projects, and 18 did not respond to the freedom of information requests.

‘The data suggests that English local authorities are not investing in cycling infrastructure at anywhere near what has been called for by active travel organisations,’ Dr Allison added.

‘What's more, the fact that so many admitted that they do not record the spend on cycling suggests that they do not see this as a priority and are unlikely to have targets in this area. This appears to support the view that three-quarters of Britons feel their local authority does not take cycling seriously.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Director of Children's Safeguarding and Care 

Gloucestershire County Council
Up to £116,391, plus relocation support
We are looking to fill this vital role at a very important time for us.  Our children’s services team is on an important journey of... Gloucestershire
Recuriter: Gloucestershire County Council

Director of Adult Social Care (DASS)

Hull City Council
£98,166 - £98,166
We are now seeking to recruit an exceptional transformational leader to build on our existing success. Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire
Recuriter: Hull City Council

Senior Building Surveyor

Bedford Borough Council
£34,728 - £36,880 per annum
An exciting opportunity has arisen following a comprehensive restructure of Economic Growth and Property. Bedfordshire
Recuriter: Bedford Borough Council

Senior Planning Officer

Three Rivers District Council
£30,451 to £33,782 (exc. LW)
We are looking to appoint a Senior Planning Officer. Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire
Recuriter: Three Rivers District Council

Insurance Manager

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£43,833 to £53,115 per annum
An opportunity has arisen for a skilled and experienced insurance professional to lead a busy and friendly Insurance Team providing a... Wandsworth, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue