Cycling Policies

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th February 1984.

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Photo of Mr Jack Dormand Mr Jack Dormand , Easington 12:00 am, 27th February 1984

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he is satisfied with the response of local authorities in implementing Government cycling policies; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mrs Lynda Chalker Mrs Lynda Chalker , Wallasey

Yes, Sir. Almost all county councils now recognise the importance of providing improved cycling facilities.

Photo of Mr Jack Dormand Mr Jack Dormand , Easington

I acknowledge the good work being done by a small number of local authorities. However, does the hon. Lady agree that the original momentum of the plan that she drew up some two years ago is now slowing? In view of that deterioration and of the Government's rate-capping policy, how does she now propose to meet the needs of cyclists, particularly as so much depends on the local authorities?

Photo of Mrs Lynda Chalker Mrs Lynda Chalker , Wallasey

I am aware that the hon. Gentleman has done much to enhance policy in this area by putting forward good ideas. My hon. and learned Friend the Minister for Health, who put forward the proposals, has been grateful for his help.

It is right for us thoroughly to complete the research programme on large-scale urban cycling schemes, while encouraging local authorities to introduce sensible schemes where they can. However, we cannot rush into this because there are many parts of the country which do not have suitable areas where cycling schemes could be implemented economically.

Photo of Mr Stephen Ross Mr Stephen Ross , Isle of Wight

Will the hon. Lady pay tribute to the Isle of Wight county council, which is organising another international cycling rally this year and is on the way to completing 25 miles of rural cycleways?

Photo of Mrs Lynda Chalker Mrs Lynda Chalker , Wallasey

I am delighted at the Isle of Wight's cycling plans. My officials have told me what is happening there. However, some parts of the country are more suitable than others for the creation of cycleways.