“More needs to be done to boost cycling uptake, including investing in infrastructure, secure cycle parking, e-bike subsidies and charging networks.”
Mid Devon district council is committing to new cycle paths, as reported today:
The Transport Secretary seems to be supporting cycling, also reported today, but…
“I don’t want to stop people from getting on their bike, it’s a fantastic way to travel, and we’ve seen a big explosion of cycling during Covid and since. But I see no reason why cyclists should break the road laws and be able to get away with it.”
The Express reports on the delight of some drivers – but the comments capture some of the difficulties of bringing in new regulations:
“Please tax and insure pedestrians and make them wear number plates. I was almost knocked off my bike by three of them crossing the road without looking.”
“Ever tried to speed on a bike? Not as easy as it sounds. 5 cyclists killed this year by cars in Fife. 0 car drivers killed by cyclists in Fife.”
The cyclists’ website Road CC doesn’t think too much of the proposals:
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said that cyclists should be insured, carry licence plates on their bikes, and be subject to the same speed limits as motorists.
In July, when he resigned as Conservative Party leader, thereby putting in motion the battle not only for who would succeed him to that post, but also as Prime Minister, we asked whether Boris Johnson’s departure would be a blow for active travel, including cycling. Neither Truss – his likely successor – nor Sunak are known as huge supporters of walking and cycling, and it could well be that Shapps’ comments tonight, which some might interpret as a dog-whistle to party members, could be an attempt to curry favour with the next Prime Minister and ensure he stays in post.
But how is cycling doing generally?
In the States, post-pandemic, there is much less incentive to get on a bike:
And yet in the UK (and probably elsewhere) getting on a bike is proving more attractive than putting petrol in the car tank:
But, still, whilst generally people would like the option of getting on a bike, it seems that things are plateauing:
The UK risks being left behind Europe on cycling growth, experts have warned, as cycle sales are down by a quarter on pre-pandemic levels and electric bike sales are plateauing following a boom in 2020. Although cycling levels have significantly risen since the pandemic – up 33% in the year to 30 July, according to Department for Transport (DfT) figures – sales of new bikes are not keeping pace.
Those in the industry say more needs to be done to boost cycling uptake, including investing in infrastructure, secure cycle parking, and e-bike subsidies and charging networks...
The charity Cycling UK believes part of the growth in cycling, which it says accelerated in March, is due to rising fuel prices, encouraging more people to switch to bikes for some trips, but warns that growth could be undone if fuel prices fall, unless cycling infrastructure improves...
The government has set a target for half of all short trips to be walked or cycled by 2030 in England. In 2019 more than 60% of trips between one and two miles were driven. Research shows most people want to cycle more and support cycling investment but fear of motor traffic is the number one barrier.