Does the right hon. Gentleman recall the Under-Secretary saying last June that a consultation paper would be published "shortly"—that was the hon. and learned Gentleman's word—and in December last year that it would be published "soon"? We have had the same reply again today. Is not this a clear indication that the Government have no interest whatever in the promotion of cycling, even in these days of energy conservation, pollution and emphasis on physical fitness? Does he not agree that the need for active interest in the matter is greater than ever? Will he and his hon. and learned Friend send me £1 each to join the all-party group on cycling, as a demonstration of their good intent?
I suppose that as I have had a salary increase I can say that I shall send the hon. Gentleman £1. I cannot speak for my hon. and learned Friend the Under-secretary, who, regrettably, has not yet received an increase.
Publication of the paper will be sooner than when my hon. and learned Friend last gave that reply. I think that I can say that it will be published next month. I share the hon. Gentleman's concern about the matter. There are important policy implications to do with cycling, including the safety implications.
I shall send £1 to join the all-party cycling group.
Will my right hon. Friend allocate resources and give encouragement to cycling projects? As the hon. Member for Easington (Mr. Dormand) suggested, they do not require energy subsidy.
That is one of the changes that we shall want to develop. Only today we have helped in the promotion of a cycle route in London. More imaginative things can be done in promoting cycling, and we should like to do them.
I endorse my right hon. Friend's commitment to cycling, and particularly its advantages for physical fitness. But does he agree that, while two wheels are better for fitness than four, no wheels are best of all? Will he also give his support to walking?
The House may think that all our papers are pedestrian. We were going to produce a paper on pedestrian policy. I am encouraged by my hon. Friend the Member for Carshalton (Mr. Forman). We shall see whether we can bring forward that paper afterwards.