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Economy Economy

Support local authorities to expand cycle networks

Last updated: 07:43am 20 September 2019

We will continue to support local authorities to expand cycle networks and upgrade facilities for cyclists at railway stations.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.24

Our verdict

This is a promise to continue to support local authorities to expand cycle networks. The government says it wants more safe routes for cycling, with links to schools and workplaces, safer rural roads and more networks of routes. It is part of a strategy to increase walking and cycling as the natural choice for shorter journeys or as part of a longer journey.

Much of the groundwork for this happened during the last administration. The government ran a consultation in 2016 and published their Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy in April 2017.

Since the last general election, 36 local authorities have won funding for technical support to plan cycling and walking networks.

As part of its Cycle Safety Review, the government provided the chance to bid for funding to improve road safety and create bike-friendly areas. The six winning cities will share just over £7 million for better crossings, access for cyclists and a new cycle route on canal towpaths.

In March 2019, the Cycling Minister announced “£21 million to improve…stretches of the 16,000-mile National Cycle Network”.

Also, in July 2019, a Transport minister listed funding for cycling, including some specifically for local authorities.

The scale of investment and support falls short of the £2.8 billion which the Sustrans charity estimates is required.  But the government has continued to support local authorities to expand cycle networks, so this policy promise is ‘done’.

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