18 recommendations

 

The ‘Get Britain Cycling’ report’s 18 recommendations, and the Government’s response to these, are below.

1. Create a cycling budget of £10 per person per year, increasing to £20.

  • Since February 2012 the Department for Transport has made an additional £159 million available for cycling infrastructure in England. Projects include: better facilities for cyclists at railway stations; improved cycle links in communities; schemes to improve the layout of road junctions to make them more cycle friendly; and recently announced schemes in cities and National Parks.
  • Following the £77 million of Cycle Ambition Grants announced by the Prime Minister for eight cities across England, investment in cycling in these areas is now in excess of £10 per head per year. Along with local contributions, this equates to £18 per head of population across the funding period. City areas that will benefit are: Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, Birmingham, West of England, Newcastle, Cambridge, Norwich and Oxford.
  • 94 of the 96 projects being funded by the Department for Transport’s £600 million Local Sustainable Transport Fund contain a cycling element. Together with local contributions, this is £1 billion of investment.
  • Bikeability cycle training grant provides funding of up to £40 per child training place.

2. Ensure local and national bodies, such as the Highways Agency, Department for Transport and local government allocate funds to cycling of at least the local proportion of journeys done by bike.

  • Through the Integrated Transport block, the Department for Transport is giving a significant amount of money to local authorities enabling them to design solutions appropriate to their local transport challenges, including improving their road infrastructure to encourage and support cycling. This funding is not ring fenced and allows local authorities to decide and implement the solutions that best suit their localities.
  • The Highways Agency (HA) works with cycling organisations to provide parallel routes, safe access and crossing points to the Strategic Route Network. These schemes are funded within the HA’s portfolio of Small Improvement Schemes, on which the expenditure is approximately £50 million each year across the portfolio (3% of the HA’s operational programme budget of c.£2 billion).
  • Furthermore, significant junction upgrades and other improvements will help cyclists at locations on the HA’s trunk road network where major roads can prove an obstacle for journeys by bike. £5 million will be invested in upgrades at 14 locations over the next two years, and a further £15 million will be invested in 2015/16, with plans in place for many more similar schemes beyond that.

3. Cycle spending that makes a tangible contribution to other government departments, such as Health, Education, Sport and Business, should be funded from those budgets, not just the DfT.

  • In recognition of the contribution cycling (and walking) make to health, the Department of Health (DH) has announced new funding of £1 million over the next two years to be shared across at least four of the eight Cycling Ambition Grant cities. This funding complements the cycling investment in these cities by encouraging individuals to walk more. DfT is working with DH and Public Health England to help cities to use this revenue funding to ensure that wider investment in cycling delivers improved population health and a reduction in health inequalities.
  • Across the country as a whole, cycling stands to benefit from the Government’s healthcare reforms where it can be used to deliver against local health priorities. Responsibility and funding (worth £5.45 billion over the next two years) for public health has been devolved to local authorities. This places local authorities in a much stronger position to address the wider determinants of health, including transport, through adopting a more holistic approach to the planning and delivery of local services. Statutory guidance from DH specifically mentions the need for Health and Wellbeing Boards to consider transport as a wider determinant of health when drawing up Joint Strategic Needs Assessments and highlights the opportunity to use Health and Wellbeing Strategies to join up health and transport services.
  • The Department for Culture, Media and Sport also fund cycling at elite and community levels through the arms length bodies UK Sport and Sport England who both work with British Cycling.

4. A statutory requirement that cyclists’ and pedestrians’ needs are considered at an early stage of all new development schemes, including housing and business developments as well as traffic and transport schemes, including funding through the planning system.

  • The National Planning Policy Framework introduced in 2011 sets out clearly that including facilities for cycling and walking should be part of delivering sustainable development. The NPPF can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/ file/6077/2116950.pdf
  • The Department’s technical guidance on designing for residential developments, Manual for Streets, stresses the importance of design that meets the needs of all transport users. Section 1.1.4 says ‘Streets should not be designed just to accommodate the movement of motor vehicles. It is important that designers place a high priority on meeting the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, and public transport users, so that growth in these modes of travel is encouraged. Manual for Streets can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/fil e/3891/pdfmanforstreets.pdf
  • The Department’s guidance on providing for cyclists, Local Transport Note 2/08: Cycle Infrastructure Design, also reiterates the importance of designers accommodating the needs of cyclists in street design. Cycle Infrastructure Design can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/fil e/3808/ltn-2-08.pdf
  • The Government has already helped local authorities to provide for cyclists, for example by making it easier to introduce contraflow cycling using ‘no entry except cyclists’ signing. This was included in the area-wide authorisations sent to every local authority in England in October 2011. Contraflow cycling means that cyclists can use one-way streets to avoid the busiest roads and junctions.
  • Through the revised Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions, due in 2015, Government will be making further changes to make it easier for councils to install cycle facilities, by removing the requirement for Traffic Orders for mandatory cycle lanes and exemptions for cyclists (such as ‘No Right Turn Except Cycles’).

5. Revise existing design guidance, to include more secure cycle parking, continental best practice for cycle-friendly planning and design, and an audit process to help planners, engineers and architects to ‘think bike’ in all their work.

  • The Department’s guidance for local authorities on providing for cyclists, Local Transport Note 2/08: Cycle Infrastructure Design, was published in 2008. It provides comprehensive advice on designing and installing a wide range of measures. It already includes many of the design principles highlighted by the Inquiry as good practice.
  • The Department will also consider endorsement and promotion of TfL’s new cycle infrastructure guidance outside London when it is published next year.
  • DfT will be organising a summit later this year on cycling infrastructure which will focus on training for designers and practitioners. It is intended that input will be sought from professional bodies such as ADEPT, IHE and CIHT.
  • The Department is currently working with local authorities to trial innovative new measures for cyclists, particularly looking at different signals to make junctions safer for cyclists. At the same time work is underway to revise the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions, which will include many changes to benefit cyclists. These changes will need to be referenced in subsequent guidance, but the focus is on making revisions by April 2015 to improve traffic regulations for all road users, including cyclists and pedestrians.
  • Many of the measures identified as good practice in other countries are already possible in Britain, for example fully segregated cycle lanes and providing a form of priority for cyclists at side roads. Decisions on how best to provide for cyclists on local roads are rightly matters for the local authority – not only do they have a duty to balance the needs of all road users when considering how to design and manage their road networks, but they also have a detailed understanding of their roads.
  • The Department for Transport also plans to take action to help local authorites to:- 

    Share good practice, knowledge and experience on the engineering and traffic management solutions already available to address common challenges to making roads more cycle-friendly;

    Investigate opportunities for local government collaboration in the preparation and testing of new engineering and traffic management solutions; and

    Help local authorities identify how best to involve cyclists themselves in identifying the right solutions to local challenges.

    6. The Highways Agency should draw up a programme to remove the barriers to cycle journeys parallel to or across trunk roads and motorway corridors, starting with the places where the potential for increased cycle use is greatest.

  • In his statement on 12th August 2013, the Prime Minister announced that cycling will be at the heart of future road developments. He committed to ensuring that all new big road developments will incorporate the needs of cyclists into their planning and design. This reinforced the commitment made in Action for Roads – that the Government will cycle-proof the trunk road network and minimise situations where major roads are a barrier to cyclists, pedestrians and communities.
  • Work will begin immediately on junction improvements and other improvements that will help cyclists at locations on the trunk road network where major roads can prove an obstacle for journeys by bike. £5 million will be invested in upgrades at 14 locations with design or construction work starting this year and a further £15 million will be invested in 2015 to 2016, with plans in place for many more similar schemes beyond that.
  • The Highways Agency is working with cycling groups to provide training for highway engineers so that they design cycle friendly road improvements. This training will be accredited by professional engineering associations and delivered as an e-learning module.
  • The Highways Agency liaises with local cycling groups and has recently opened up dialogue with British Cycling. The Highways Agency also hosts the Vulnerable Road Users Committee attended by vulnerable road user groups, including Sustrans and CTC, twice a year.

7. Local authorities should seek to deliver cycle-friendly improvements across their existing roads, including small improvements, segregated routes, and road reallocation.

  • The Department for Transport expects local authorities to up their game in delivering infrastructure that takes cycling into account from the design stage.
  • The Department for Transport provides funding to local authorities to implement improvements to their local road infrastructure, but it is for local authorities to prioritise schemes.
  • Local authorities have a duty to consider the needs of all road users, including cyclists and pedestrians, when managing their road networks. In making changes they should consider the needs of all users, including vulnerable pedestrians such as elderly people and those with mobility issues or visual impairments.

8. The Department for Transport should approve and update necessary new regulations such as allowing separate traffic lights for cyclists and commencing s6 of the Road Traffic Act 2004.

  • Following the Traffic Signs Policy Review carried out from 2008-2011, the Department for Transport is working to update the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions.
  • During the Signs Review, the Department worked closely with representatives from Transport for London and Sustrans to understand the changes they felt necessary, and how to move these forward.
  • The Department is looking to include measures such as new traffic lights for cyclists in the revised Regulations, which will be informed by the outcome of TRL/TfL’s current trials.
  • It is intended that the new regulations will be brought into force in 2015. As well as new traffic lights to give cyclists a head start at junctions, other measures being considered include:

– Removing the requirement for a lead-in lane for cyclists at advanced stop lines, making it easier for highway authorities to install advanced stop lines at junctions;

– Options for joint crossings for use by both pedestrians and cyclists; o

– New designs of filter signals for cyclists as an alternative way of providing a head start at traffic lights;

– Options for bigger cycle boxes (advanced stop lines), to accommodate the growth in cycling, and to make it safer for cyclists at junctions;

– Removing the requirement for Traffic Orders for mandatory cycle lanes and exemptions for cyclists, such as ‘no right turn except cycles’. This will make it easier for local authorities to install cycle facilities.

  • In advance of the revisions to the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions the Government has already made it easier to:

– Introduce 20mph speed restrictions, which make streets safer for all road users. All of the successful Cycling Ambition Grant cities have plans to introduce area-wide 20mph speed limits as part of their programme to make city streets more cycle-friendly;

– Use “Trixi” mirrors at junctions so that lorry and bus drivers can see cyclists more easily;

– Introduce contra flow cycling so that cyclists can use one-way streets to avoid the busiest roads and junctions.

  • On the issue of commencing Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004, the current position is as follows:

– Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 makes provision for local authorities to enforce moving traffic contraventions, including driving in mandatory cycle lanes. At present, these are enforced by the Police. Although Part 6 is on the statute books, it must be ‘commenced’ via an Order made by the Secretary of State before authorities can apply to use these powers.

– Where local authorities have taken on Civil Parking Enforcement powers they can already use parking restrictions to enforce parking contraventions in cycle lanes. It is up to local authorities to decide what restrictions to apply and where. Over 90% of authorities already have these powers and the Government encourages the remainder to also take on the powers;

– The Government recognises there is a strong desire from some local authorities outside London and from cycling groups for authorities to have extra powers in Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act to enforce moving traffic contraventions (such as driving in cycle lanes) as well as the Police;

– The Department for Transport has agreed to consider this, and is looking at the evidence from London (where local authorities already have these powers). The evidence shows that contravention rates have fallen by up to 50%, but there is less evidence of how much this has impacted on improving safety and reducing congestion in addition, most of the enforcement effort by authorities has focused on bus lanes and yellow box junctions;

– The Department has also looked at the evidence provided by Nottingham and Sheffield as part of the City Deals process, to understand the traffic benefits of implementing Part 6 in those cities;

– No decision has been taken yet on commencing Part 6, but the matter is under consideration. If we decide to go ahead there would need to be a full consultation exercise to seek the views of all interested parties on giving authorities outside London these powers.

 

9. Extend 20 mph speed limits in towns, and consider 40mph limits on many rural lanes.

  • Local authorities are responsible for setting local speed limits in line with their local conditions and requirements.
  • It is important that local authorities take a balanced account of the full range of impacts of changing speed limits, including economic and environmental effects.
  • On 18 January 2013, the Department published a revised speed limit circular, ‘Setting local speed limits (DfT circular 01/2013)’. The Department also published a speed limit appraisal tool, to help local authorities assess the full costs and benefits of any proposed speed limit schemes.

In October 2011 the Department for Transport made it easier for local authorities to introduce 20mph speed limits and zones in residential areas, by giving more flexibility in the combinations of physical features and signs allowed. In both ‘Setting local speed limits’ and the Traffic Signs Policy Paper ‘Signing the Way’ the Department also said it would be open to considering applications from local authorities for 40mph zones.

All of the successful Cycling Ambition Grant cities have plans to introduce area-wide 20mph speed limits as part of their programme to make city streets more cycle-friendly.

10. Improve HGV safety by vehicle design, driver training, and mutual awareness with cyclists; promote rail freight and limit use of HGVs on the busiest urban streets at the busiest times, and use public sector projects to drive fleet improvements.

  • DfT Ministers are treating this issue (the risk posed to cyclists by HGVs) as a priority, and have had a number of discussions with the Mayor of London and Peter Hendy – the Commissioner for Transport for London, over the summer to agree further measures to improve cycle safety. We intend to make a joint announcement in the near future.
  • The Department for Transport is now updating its guidance on quiet out of hours deliveries, originally produced for the 2010 quiet out of hours deliveries pilot schemes, to help encourage more such schemes around the country. This will take account of the experience of such deliveries during the 2012 London Games, which helped to reduce the number of goods vehicles on the busiest urban streets at the busiest times, by shifting some deliveries to other times of day.
  • Government is promoting the further development of the Strategic Rail Freight Network and has ring-fenced a further £230 million in the period 2014-2019 for the rail industry in Great Britain to take forward its own priority projects on freight.
  • New standards for mirrors on the passenger side of lorries have recently been agreed at international level, and the Department is liaising with the European Commission on making this a mandatory requirement for all new heavy vehicles. These mirrors improve drivers’ visibility and make it easier for them to see cyclists who ride up on the passenger side.
  • The Department for Transport continues to work with international partners through the UNECE, in particular to allow camera technology that further improves driver vision.
  • From 29 October 2014, all new goods vehicles will have to comply with revised European rules, which permit fewer exemptions than the current domestic legislation.

11. Strengthen the enforcement of road traffic law, including speed limits, and ensuring that driving offences – especially those resulting in death or injury – are treated sufficiently seriously by police, prosecutors and judges.

  • All road users have a duty to use the road network in a safe and responsible manner and to obey road traffic law.
  • The Ministry of Justice is the lead on sentencing matters and has responsibility for sentencing policy
  • Early in the New Year, the Sentencing Council (an independent non- departmental public body of the Ministry of Justice) will undertake a review of the sentencing guidelines for the offences of causing death by careless driving and causing death or serious injury by dangerous driving. Proposals will be subject to a formal consultation.
  • The Department for Transport also hosts a Justice Sub-Group of its Cycle Stakeholder Forum. The Sub-Group includes representatives of the Home Office, Ministry of Justice, the Sentencing Council, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Metropolitan Police, and a number of cycling representatives. The remit of the group is to consider the present arrangements within the criminal justice system to ensure that it supports the Government’s ambition for walking and cycling by protecting cyclists and pedestrians.
  • The Justice Sub-Group is commissioning research to investigate the link between police reported road traffic incidents where cyclists or pedestrians are killed or seriously injured (STATS 19 data) and prosecutions to better understand how the justice system works for these vulnerable road users.
  • The Group will meet with the Crown Prosecution Service to discuss how revised charging guidance for prosecutors will work in relation to cyclists and pedestrians.

12. Provide cycle training at all primary and secondary schools.

  • The Department for Transport provides funding to local authorities and School Games Organiser Host Schools for the delivery of Bikeability training to children between school years 5 – 9 (ages 9-14). The current funding of £24 million between April 2013 and March 2015 allows for a minimum of 600,000 children (based on a maximum contribution of £40 per head) to be trained to Levels 2 and 3 (Level 1 can be included if part of the same Level 2 course). In his announcement of 12th August, the Prime Minister committed to extending support for Bikeability into 2015/16.
  • In addition to funding specifically for Bikeability training, local authorities were invited to submit bids for LSTF funding which could include cycling. Of the 96 LSTF packages that have been agreed, 77 contained cycle training which includes 29 additional child cycle training packages. The funding provided by the Department is intended as a contribution towards the overall costs of cycle training. Local authorities may use other sources to fund additional cycle training places not covered by the Department’s grant.

13. Offer widespread affordable (or free) cycle training and other programmes to encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to give cycling a try, as evidenced by NICE.

  • There are current Department for Transport funding channels that provide support to local authorities in choosing to implement these recommendations. For example, in addition to the child cycle training funding, the Department’s White Paper Creating Growth, Cutting Carbon outlined Government support for sustainable travel. The LSTF invited local authorities to submit bids which may include cycling. All £600 million from the fund has now been committed to deliver 96 packages. Of those 96 packages, 77 contained cycle training which includes 48 adult training packages. Local authorities may use other sources to fund additional cycle training places not covered by the Department’s grant. Some local authorities provide free adult training.
  • The recent Spending Round announcements included £100 million capital funding for the Local Sustainable Transport Fund for 2015/16, as part of the Local Growth Fund. £78.5m revenue funding has also been announced for the Local Sustainable Transport Fund (including Bikeability) in 2015/16, to support the delivery of capital projects funded through the Local Growth Fund.
  • Bikeability is not only for children. There is a range of training available to suit all requirements from the complete beginner wanting to boost their confidence to those wanting to develop more advanced skills. The Bikeability website contains further information for those wishing to find a suitable cycle training provider. Some Local Authorities also provide free or subsidised adult cycle training.

14. Promote cycling as a safe and normal activity for people of all ages and backgrounds.

  • Cycle safety is very important, which is why the Department for Transport has given £35m to improve safety at dangerous junctions across England and have helped local councils to design solutions appropriate to their local challenges, including improving their road infrastructure to encourage and support more cycling.
  • The small rise in the number of cyclists seriously injured may be due to the increase in cycling which has been seen in recent years and the Department will continue to progress initiatives to improve cycle safety.
  • Bikeability cycle training provides people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities with the skills and confidence to cycle safely and competently on modern roads.
  • Government is keen to do more to promote leisure and utility cycling along existing rights of way, and to reduce the red tape around the creation and maintenance of multi-use cycle routes so that we have better regional and national cycle networks. We will be arranging a summit in the autumn to consider how we can improve cycle infrastructure provision
  • The Government is committed to turning Britain into a cycling nation to rival our European neighbours. This means introducing policies that will make it easier for everyone to cycle, regardless of their age or background.

15. The Government should produce a cross-departmental Cycling Action Plan with annual progress reports.

  • The Department for Transport has been co-ordinating a cross- departmental effort to promote cycling, in particular with Defra and the Department of Health.
  • Realising our ambition for cycling will require sustained leadership, collaboration and innovation at each level of government and between all sectors. To ensure that robust arrangements are in place to realise the ambition, we will work with stakeholders to assemble a comprehensive delivery plan for publication in the autumn.
  • The Department for Transport has governance arrangements in place to support the development of cycling policy through the Cycling Stakeholder Forum led by Cycling Minister Norman Baker, a cycling High Level Subgroup and a cross-Whitehall officials Subgroup. Close working relationships will continue as the cycling delivery plan is developed.

16. The Government should appoint a national Cycling Champion, an expert from outside the Department for Transport.

  • The Government has no plans to appoint a national Cycling Champion. However, the Cycle Safety Forum Subgroup provides external expert help and advice.

17. The Government should set national targets to increase cycle use from less than 2% of journeys in 2011, to 10% of all journeys in 2025, and 25% by 2050.

  • The Government does not believe that to set national targets for cycling will encourage take up at local level. It is for Local Authorities to decide on suitable/sensible ambitions for their local areas. A ‘One size fits all’ approach is not effective.
  • For example, the eight successful Cycling Ambition Grant cities have all set targets that are ambitious, but different given their local circumstances and current levels of cycling.
  • The Government continues to invest money – £159m has been announced since the beginning of 2012 – and implement measures that enable more people to choose cycling.

18. Central and local government and devolved authorities should each appoint a lead politician responsible for cycling.

  • The Government encourages local authorities to identify a senior Officer or Member to take cycling development forward in their authorities and to champion cycling in their area.
  • In central government Norman Baker champions cycling, as Minister for Cycling.
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