On 21 January this year we announced a record £140 million investment in cycling over the next three years via our delivery body, Cycling England. This is an increase of £110 million over the current budget and fulfils a commitment to increase funding for sustainable travel as set out in our strategy document ‘Towards a Sustainable Transport System’ in October 2007.
The announcement was accompanied by our publication ‘A Sustainable Future for Cycling’ which sets out the background on our investment. Copies will be placed in the Libraries of the House.
This investment will enable an extra 500,000 children to have access to the new Bikeability cycle training by 2012 and create many additional safer walking and cycling routes to at least 500 schools.
It will also allow Cycling England to work with a number of local authorities via their Cycling Demonstration Town programme where they expect to fund a further 10 towns and a large city. This will provide up to 17 demonstration areas covering around three million people highlighting best practice in the design and promotion of cycling and enables these and other local authorities to learn and be inspired by those lessons.
This will be in addition to the investment made by local authorities, which was around £60 million in 2006-07.
On 21 January this year, we announced we are investing a record £140 million in cycling over the next three years. This will enable an extra 500,000 children to have access to the new Bikeability cycle training by 2012 and create many additional safer walking and cycling routes to at least 500 schools.
Measures to improve road safety for all cyclists include providing better infrastructure, promoting cycle training, improved training and testing for motorists and encouraging cyclists to protect themselves, by making themselves conspicuous and by wearing a safety helmet.
The new edition of the Highway Code, published in September 2007, includes enhanced advice to all road users to look out for and be aware of vulnerable road users, including cyclists. To make drivers more aware of cyclists the theory test question bank contains a large number of questions about vulnerable road users. The screen-based theory test allows the use of digitised video clips to help test hazard perception with moving images, which include cyclists.
We concentrate our cycle safety publicity on teenagers and younger children, as these are the most vulnerable groups. We have run various cycle safety campaigns over the last 10 years. Currently, cycling safety messages for younger children are included on the Hedgehogs website including advice and games. In 2006 we produced an online advertisement for children called ‘No helmet, no ride’, which encourages children to wear a cycle helmet.
There is also the cyclesense website aimed at teenage cyclists, giving advice and tips on cycling safety. In 2007 we ran an MTV/THINK! competition, where teenagers were asked to come up with ideas for TV commercials about road safety, including cycling, aimed at their peers. This activity ran over five months and the three best ideas were produced as TV commercials and teens voted for their favourite ad online.
The Department’s leaflet ‘Drive Safe Cycle Safe’ also encourages drivers and cyclists to share the road safely. The Department has grant funded a number of projects to improve road safety for cyclists including a ROSPA produced DVD on safety for cyclists and lorries.