Cycle Tracks Bill
Mr Kenneth Hind (West Lancashire)
I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that intervention. Cyclists do not receive the benefits from public expenditure that are enjoyed by users of other forms of transport. I hope that the House will welcome the Bill as a sign that we are committed to the development of cycling as a form of transport.
It is important to consider the costs of transport in future. There will be a reduction in North sea oil supplies, and as the world oil supply is depleted we may see an increase in transport costs. We have not yet invented an efficient battery-powered car as a substitute for the petrol engine. It is important to remember that two legs were invented before the engine and that they provide a most efficient way of travelling.
It is important that we take advantage of the opportunity presented by my hon. Friend the Member for Barrow and Furness. If the Bill is enacted, it is estimated that it will cost initially about £500,000 a year. No doubt there will be difficulties with the Treasury, but it appears that the economy is beginning to grow. It appears that even the Bank of England is now accepting that the economy will grow at the rate of 3 per cent., and it appears that Britain is getting back on the rails. I hope that my hon. Friend the Minister of State will have discussions with her Treasury colleagues to ensure that money is made available for the sort of expenditure that would take place following the Bill's enactment.
From the point of view of many of my constituents and of those who represent rural areas, this is a good Bill. It is a progressive step in the right direction, and I welcome it.