94 million pounds. It sounds like a lot of money, doesn’t it? Prime Minister David Cameron announced it with much fanfare as ‘the biggest single injection of cash for cycling’. The news recieved lots of media coverage on Monday and seemed to be well received.
But I’m worried. Give councils and town planners that much money and they will waste half of it. Maybe more. With extra cash, and pressure to spend it, I guarantee many of the cities and areas named on Monday will throw down poorly thought out infastructure that won’t encourage cycling.
Take Croydon council for example. On a junction that can be seen from the CW office window they recently put in a cycle path that took cyclists off the road, on to the pavement and straight in to a lamp post. Such idiotic cycle facilities can be found up and down the country.
The problem is provision for cyclists is an after thought. An add on or work around put in place after the car-focused junction is built.
Cycling infastructure will only work (i.e. encourage more people to ride) when it is built in to knew junctions with two wheels being given priority, or at least equal billing. Planners have to change their mindset when first putting pencil to paper and coming up with their designs.
Until that happens money will continue to be wasted on inadequate facilities that will do nothing to get more people on to bikes.
This article was first published in the August 15 issue of Cycling Weekly. Read Cycling Weekly magazine on the day of release where ever you are in the world International digital edition, UK digital edition. And if you like us, rate us!