Commons agrees to Infrastructure Bill cycling amendment

January 28 2015  

Commons agrees to Infrastructure Bill cycling amendment

Cycle champions have welcomed Parliament’s approval on Monday evening of an amendment to the Infrastructure Bill which now includes a cycling and walking investment strategy.

“This is a turning point for cycling in the UK,” said national cycling charity CTC’s campaigns director Roger Geffen. “Credit must be given to the Government for backing it, MPs such as Julian Huppert who fought so hard for it and the thousands of people who worked so hard to make this happen.”

The next step, he added, is to secure commitments from political parties as to how much funding each would put into the investment strategy.

CIHT urban design panel member Phil Jones, who also sits on the Department for Transport’s ‘cycle proofing’ working group, said: “The momentum is there and the Infrastructure Bill is further confirmation that local authorities should plan properly for cycling. The question is how much investment will be made, but at least we are talking about how much rather than whether or not to invest.”

British Cycling’s policy adviser Chris Boardman added: “This amendment represents a massive shift in thinking and most importantly, commitment. This Bill will mean that cycling can no longer be ignored as a legitimate form of transport. It makes the Transport Secretary directly responsible for setting targets and putting in investment.”

Monday saw the third and final reading of the Infrastructure Bill in the House of Commons and the Bill will now return to the House of Lords to consider amendments made. The Bill includes making provision for a strategic highways company.

Liberal Democrat MP Julian Huppert, who proposed that the Infrastructure Bill include a cycling and walking investment strategy, said: “The case for cycling and walking is incredibly strong. I thank the Minister for the Government agreeing to do this, because it will make a big difference.”

Transport Minister John Hayes said: “Much of the work has been done, but it has now been framed in the most appropriate place – that is, the Bill, which sets in motion a road investment strategy.”

♦ Construction of two substantially segregated cycleways through central London could begin in March after Mayor Boris Johnson set out final plans for the east/west and north/south routes on Tuesday.

The so called ‘Crossrail for the Bike’ routes will intersect at Blackfrairs. The east/west cycleway will run from Tower Hill along Victoria Embankment towards Westbourne Terrace. North/south will run from the Elephant & Castle to King’s Cross.

(Photo: Mayor of London)

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