Brighton MP pushes the case for cycling

Posted On 05 Dec 2010 at 11:27 pm

A Brighton MP questioned Transport Minister Norman Baker about funding to promote cycling in the House of Commons.

Caroline Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, asked Mr Baker, who is also the Liberal Democrat MP for Lewes, what steps the Department for Transport was taking to promote cycling.

Mr Baker said: “We set out our commitment to sustainable local travel, including cycling, in our decision to establish a local sustainable transport fund.

“The spending review made available £560 million over four years.”

He said that it would be for local partnerships – local transport authorities working with their communities – to identify the right solutions for their areas in bidding for funding.

Mr Baker said: “Bids involving cycling will be well placed to capitalise on the objectives of the fund to help create growth and cut carbon.”

The Green MP, speaking on Thursday (2 December) then asked: “The axing of the highly cost-effective body Cycling England wiped out the arrangement whereby money was effectively channelled into school and workplace projects that are run by charities such as Sustrans and CTC.

“What is the minister’s plan B to ensure that cycling charities and campaigning groups, such as those in my constituency, can continue to work with schools and businesses to deliver cycling’s many benefits?

“How will he know if that plan B is working?”

Mr Baker said: “I am happy to say that Bikeability, one of the main schemes delivered by Cycling England, has been retained at a national level.

“Funding for it will be top-sliced from the local sustainable transport fund.

“We are in regular contact with organisations such as Sustrans to ensure that they are plugged in.

“I assure the honourable lady that bids to the local sustainable transport fund will be regarded more favourably if they have involvement from voluntary community groups, such as the one that she has described.”

  1. Dan Wilson Reply

    During the general election campaign period earlier this year, I remember emerging from hustings around Brighton on more than a few occasions with Labour colleagues.

    Dr Lucas would invariably leap into a cab or a car. It was her favoured mode of transport.

    With all her travel between London, Brighton, Brussels and elsewhere since May, has she said how much of her travel is bike based? It would be good to know.

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