Call on Kirklees Council to access national funding for cycling
The draft delivery plan for cycling in England was recently sent to all councils in England by the Department for Transport. It sets out the reasons and advantages for increasing the numbers of people cycling and walking, and it outlines the ways in which local authorities can achieve this. Finance for cycling infrastructure, to make cycling safer, will largely depend upon the response of individual councils. To have help from national Government with finance they must display an active interest in encouraging more of their population to use cycles as part of their daily transport.
The Huddersfield FoE and CTC groups are calling on Kirklees Council to register its interest in forming a partnership with the government to create a cycling and walking vision. It would then be eligible to receive priority access to funding.
John Lewis from Huddersfield Friends of the Earth and Huddersfield CTC commented:
“For many decades Kirklees has given minimal attention in providing cycling infrastructure. The DfT document notes that funding for cycling nationally is currently around £5 per person per annum and the aspiration is to achieve a minimum-funding packet equivalent to £10 per person by 2020-21. We understand that currently Kirklees has an annual budget for cycling of £250,000, which is equivalent to only £1.70 per person. There is clearly an awful lot to do, but what a difference a budget of £10 per person could make to the streets in Kirklees. It would make possible the completion of current Greenway projects and Kirklees could begin to make its towns and conurbations more pleasant places to live and use.
Greater numbers of people cycling can contribute greatly to a favourable traffic and environmental situation. Copenhagen has shown how the socio-economic consequences of investing in cycling have given cost-benefit ratios much higher than normally expected from transport projects. We do hope that the council will register its ‘expression of interest’ to the Department of Transport as soon as possible. It will be a lost opportunity not to do so”.