HC Deb 04 July 2001 vol 371 cc157-8W
Mr. Ben Chapman

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what plans he has to require local authorities to produce cycling strategies. [1731]

Mr. Spellar

All local highway authorities in England (excluding London) were asked to produce a cycling strategy as part of their local transport plans (LTPs) last year. This should identify gaps in the local network and potential improvements to the cycling infrastructure. Almost all authorities subsequently included strategies for cycling as part of their LTP submissions. Initial monitoring suggests that the strategies will result in considerable additional provision for cycling. The London boroughs will be expected to implement the policies for cycling contained in the Mayor's Transport Strategy, which is due for publication in the summer.

Mr. Drew

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how the Government plan to take forward their cycling strategy. [1658]

Mr. Spellar

[holding answer 3 July 2001]: The Government are committed to quadrupling the number of cycling trips, from a 1996 base, by 2012, and in the 10-Year Transport Plan we have set an interim target of tripling the number of cycling trips between 2000 and 2010. The local transport settlement provided £8.4 billion of Government funding which will help to promote sustainable transport measures, including cycling. The cycling strategies in local authorities' local transport plans will provide opportunities to improve the cycling infrastructure and make cycling more accessible.

Action is being taken to effectively market the key messages of the National Cycling Strategy (NCS). An NCS website has been launched and a promotional video has been produced. A series of cycling seminars has just been concluded across England, which provided a good opportunity for local authorities, major employers and health and education practitioners to come together.

We are also re-organising the way the National Cycle Forum, which co-ordinates progress on the NCS, works. The current Forum will be reconstituted, meeting annually to review progress on delivering the NCS, and to set the policy agenda for the year ahead. An executive board is to be established with the task of securing NCS objectives and developing broad policies established by the NCF. The NCS Board will be 8–10 people strong. We have advertised for a Chairperson, and are considering the applications at present.