Infrastructure investment increasing confidence for people who cycle, says Transport Chair
Cycle Superhighway users like being safe and segregated from traffic
9 May 2019
Responding to a survey by British Cycling that found two-thirds of its members are concerned about their safety when riding a bike, Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, said today:
“By 2020, we will have invested £60 million in cycling and walking schemes across West Yorkshire and York since 2015 through our dedicated CityConnect programme. In addition, we are currently developing business cases to unlock a further £12 million from the Local Growth Fund to deliver further cycling and walking schemes.
“Over 60% of surveyed users of CityConnect’s award-winning Bradford Leeds Cycle Superhighway say their confidence to cycle has increased as a result of the provision, with people citing being safe and segregated from traffic as the main reasons to use it. Since opening in July 2016 the cycle superhighway has been used for nearly a million trips (953,595 up until the end of March 2019), increasing access to work, education and leisure opportunities in communities facing barriers to participation.
Free cycle training
“Alongside building new infrastructure and improving existing routes, we run a series of engagement initiatives aimed at helping residents overcome barriers to participation, including free adult cycle training and bike maintenance sessions. We are also delivering improvements for cycling and walking through our wider investment programmes - an estimated £69 million from the Local Growth Fund will be spent on walking and cycling improvements within our wider delivery programme up to March 2021.
“From connecting people with places, to reducing air pollution and congestion, and combatting physical inactivity and obesity, we know increasing the numbers of people choosing to travel by bike or on foot has a vital role to play in making our region a great place to live, work and play, and we continue to explore future funding opportunities to build on the significant progress we have already made.”
Olympic cyclist and British Cycling policy adviser Chris Boardman said: "Despite the evidence repeatedly telling us that it's sustained investment in better infrastructure that keeps people safe, for 20 years society has continued to tell us that the answer lies in safety equipment.
"I sincerely hope that this will act as a wake-up call for us, to let evidence lead our decision-making and make bold decisions on funding and investment, rather than simply taking the easy option and telling people to look after themselves."
The report calls for a campaign promoting mutual respect for all road users, an increase in ring-fenced funding for cycling and walking, and more help for businesses encouraging employees to cycle to work.