Azara Blog: More money for cycling

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Date published: 2005/02/06

The BBC says:

Cycling is not being promoted or funded well enough by the government, a sustainable transport watchdog says.

The National Cycling Strategy Board said the level of cycling in Britain is among the lowest in Europe with only 2% of journeys being made on two wheels.

Philip Darlton, the board's chairman, says an extra £70m is needed to meet government targets on reducing congestion and enhancing air quality.

Ministers say spending on cycling has risen from £29m to £39m since 2002.

But Mr Darlton says he can see "no overall strategic commitment" to cycling at ministerial level.

Only one in every 50 journeys made in the UK is currently made by bicycle, he told BBC Radio Five Live.

Last June ministers abandoned the target of raising this figure to 6% by 2010.

But the government has pledged to spend an extra £10m to link the UK's existing cycle lanes to schools around the country.

Yet another special interest pressure group pleading for money for its own special interest. Ah, but cyclists are "saving the world" so of course the rest of the country should subsidise their life style. Well, trains and buses get huge public subsidy so perhaps cycling should get its fair share (but £70m sounds way too high). On the other hand perhaps cyclists should pay a road fund license (just like car drivers) to help maintain the roads and paths they use. And isn't it amazing how everything that is claimed to be "sustainable" needs a government subsidy to sustain it.

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