§ 27. Mr. Robathan
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he has taken to encourage bicyling.
§ Mr. Key
We are continuing our work to make roads safer for cyclists and to give guidance to local authorities and others in making good provision for cycling. The package approach which we have introduced for local transport expenditure gives local authorities greater flexibility to allocate funds for cycling. We are also seeking co-operative initiatives with outside bodies to improve understanding of the value of cycling and to promote changes in conditions that will allow it to flourish. Copies of the Government's recent statement are in the Library.
§ Mr. Robathan
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with his colleagues at the Departments of Health, for Education and of the Environment about encouraging children to bicycle to school, in order to reduce pollution and congestion, while encouraging health.
§ Mr. Key
We recognise the potential to reduce pollution and congestion, if more people were to choose to cycle. Our recent statement on cycling policy emphasises the importance of changing perceptions of cycling and improving conditions for it. I have not discussed with colleagues encouraging children to cycle to school. It is primarily a matter for parents to judge whether cycling to school is a safe and reasonable option, given local circumstances, and to press for improved facilities should those be necessary. Ways of improving health, including through cycling, have been discussed by Ministers of the Departments mentioned as part of the "Health of the Nation" initiative.