2 Wheels good 4 Wheels get more money though.

As a cyclist you might think I’d be pleased by the announcement of £40million to make dangerous roads safer for cyclists.
The money, £20 million from central government and £20M from local councils will be spent on 78 roads & junctions. All good stuff but here is the but…
According to British Cycling about 2% of journeys are by bike so surely spending 2% of the Department for Transports budget on cycling would be fair wouldn’t it?
The £20M announced amounts to 0.15% of the DfT’s budget of around £13.1 billion. Even allowing for the fact that the £20M is part of £107million invested in cycling infrastructure in the past year that’s still only 0.8 % of the DfT’s budget. I’m not against money being spent on roads, I cycle on roads! But in context £4billion is earmarked to upgrade the A9 in Scotland and a new toll motorway for South Wales.
I appreciate money is tight but even on the roads I regularly cycle on there are examples of cycle lanes stopping before junctions & then restarting just after the junction. It shouldn’t be difficult to run cycle lanes right up to the lights at a straightforward junction rather than stopping it short.
Apparently 11 million Britons cycle at least once a week and 3.1 million ride “most days” and research from Mintel suggests that 41% of Britons consider themselves cyclists up from 34 % last year. I wonder how much of that is on the back of British cycling success in the past year both at the Olympics and professional cycling circuits and how many of those cyclists many of whom are drivers too would want a little more money spent on making cycling safer and if making roads safer for cyclists will encourage more people to venture out on bikes more regularly. It’s not just the road layouts though its the attitude of drivers, far too many drivers don’t give cyclists enough space when they overtake or sit intimidatingly close behind them.
One of the great things about the Big Battlefield Bike Ride i did in 2010 was how considerate French drivers are of cyclists, this year with 2 days riding on British roads it will be interesting to see just how courteous the drivers of Kent & London are in comparison with the French drivers ( I know which country I’m planning on wearing Hi Viz in! )
Thanks for reading & remember you can comment on anything I post and donate by texting BBBR51 £2 to 70070 or click on the link to my Bmycharity online donation page.
Thanks
Simon

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