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Cycling

Part of Backbench Business — Private Members’ Bills – in the House of Commons at 9:42 pm on 2nd September 2013.

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Photo of Norman Baker Norman Baker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport 9:42 pm, 2nd September 2013

I think the Communities Secretary is capable of answering for himself.

I want to mention the funding arrangements which this Government has put in place. If people believed some of the earlier comments, including from Mr Bradshaw, they would think that this Government had not been funding cycling. That is quite untrue. In fact, we are funding cycling more than the Labour Government did. Between 2005 and 2010 the previous Administration spent £140 million—£200 million with match funding—on cycling. Under this Administration, £278 million—£375 million with match funding—will be spent in our five-year period. That is almost double what the Labour Government spent in the previous five years. When Opposition Members complain that there is not enough funding, a little more humility would not come amiss.

I entirely agree with the comments made by hon. Members that it is important not to neglect rural areas. That is why the Government has committed £600 million to the local sustainable transport fund, which equates to £1 billion with match funding. That local sustainable transport fund has funded 96 projects, 94 of which have cycling elements. A further £100 million capital and £78 million revenue funding has been allocated for the LSTF in 2015-16. We have seen £44 million committed throughout this Parliament to support cycle training for schoolchildren. I might say to the shadow Secretary of State that the first thing we did on cycling as a coalition Government was to commit to Bikeability funding throughout the whole Parliament to give the certainty which she says she wants.

In addition to all that, £159 million has been announced since the beginning of 2012—£94 million to increase cycling in eight cities and four national parks, £20 million to deliver safer junctions outside London, £15 million to enable cycle parking at rail stations, £15 million to provide more safe cycling links between communities and £15 million for junction safety in London. In times of plenty, the allocation to cycling measures was £200 million. In times of hardship, we have had £370 million from this coalition Government.