Crowland cyclist says: 'We deserve better than this'
A Crowland letter writer feels the Government should spend more on local roads to promote cycling.
I note local authorities are trying to redesign their high streets to cater more for
pedestrians and cyclists.
Locally we see more facilities for cyclists like the railway station and high street facilities but there is still a long way to go in creating better, safer, fit for purpose facilities, especially rural routes that link our towns.
It is disappointing to see a funding reduction from the Government for roads in Lincolnshire.
In February 2021 the Department Of Transport reported Lincolnshire would receive £12.3m less this year. Lincolnshire County Council maintenance grant for 2020/21 was £51m compared to just £38.7m for 2021/22.
Before the general election, the Government invested annually £7 per person on cycling and walking outside of London. Now that figure has dropped to £1.55.
In 2019 the Government acknowledged it needed to double investment to reach its own target to increase cycling and walking.
Even throughout the pandemic we saw more people take up cycling and walking to keep their fitness levels up and hopefully this trend will continue to rise.
Cycling UK is calling for the Government’s investment to rise to at least 5% of transport spend and rise further to a minimum of 10% over the next five years, not drop.
I am a motorist and a cyclist, and I hear the debate about cyclists paying road tax, but cyclists do not contribute to the wear and tear of our roads, also they do not pollute.
As cycling and walking has become more popular there is a requirement for much better investment so we can all address:
- Traffic congestion;
- Air pollution;
- Climate change;
- Obesity crisis;
- The decline of our high street.
Our rural roads are an ideal route for cyclists and keep them away from the main road volumes of traffic but these roads fall way behind when it comes to preventative maintenance and safety.
These should be linked up to a better network so more people can leave the car at home and increase those cycle trips.
Up to 50% more cycle trips saves £1.3billion in NHS costs, premature death, work sick days, pollution and congestion.
Why should we be the poorest county outside London when it comes down to investment in our roads?
Member of Crowland Wheelers