Dominic Browne 28 May 2019

Gov to fall short on national cycling target

The Government is set to fall way short of its target of doubling the number of cycling journeys by 2025.

Its aim was to increase cycling from 800 million trips in 2013 to 1.6 billion in 2025. However the last National Travel Survey statistics indicated that by 2017 there were only 991 million.

At this rate of progress the Government will only achieve around 1.27 billion trips.

A Department for Transport (DfT) spokesperson said: 'As we made clear in our Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, we want to make cycling and walking the natural choice for short journeys.

'This is why we’re investing around £2bn on active travel over the course of this Parliament [the five years to May 2022] - doubling spending per head compared to the last Spending Review period - to increase the number of journeys taken by bike or on foot, improve air quality, tackle congestion and reduce obesity.'

However critics point out that much of this funding is not ringfenced, meaning cash-strapped local authorities can spend the money elsewhere.

DfT officials have sought to push the blame onto local authorities, suggesting they were not investing enough on measures like dedicated cycle lanes, The Times reported.

Councils have been 'encouraged' to spend around 15% of their local transport infrastructure funding on walking and cycling by government. Although this appears to be just an aspiration rather than an ambition with incentives attached.

This article first appeared on Transport Network

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