Oral Answers to Questions — Transport – in the House of Commons on 13th June 2019.

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Photo of Michael Ellis Michael Ellis Minister of State (Department for Transport)

The Government are committed to increasing cycling and walking, and to making our roads safer for cyclists and pedestrians. Spending per head on cycling and walking has more than trebled since 2010, and about £2 billion is now being invested in cycling and walking over the current Parliament. That is helping to fund new infrastructure in many towns and cities.

Photo of Sarah Wollaston Sarah Wollaston Chair, Health and Social Care Committee, Chair, Liaison Committee (Commons), Chair, Liaison Committee Sub-committee on the effectiveness and influence of the select committee system

I am sure that the whole House will wish to join me in wishing the very best to Chris Froome.

I welcome the removal of the cap from the Cycle to Work scheme, but many of the people who could benefit most from e-bikes are not in work. What will the Minister do to support the use of e-bikes and non-standard pedal cycles by older people and those with disabilities? Will he meet me to discuss how we can create a safer infrastructure to encourage such use, particularly in my constituency, where there has been a long-standing block to the Littlehempston to Totnes cycleway?

Photo of Michael Ellis Michael Ellis Minister of State (Department for Transport)

I shall be happy to meet the hon. Lady, and I extend similar sentiments to Chris Froome.

Investment has trebled since Labour was in office, thanks to this Government. In the past few days I have made two visits to support Bike Week, and I shall be making a Bikeability visit this afternoon. As a result of the Government’s £29 billion investment in roads, cycling is being supported, but, as I have said, I shall be happy to meet the hon. Lady to discuss the matter further.

Photo of Matt Rodda Matt Rodda Shadow Minister (Transport) (Buses)

As we have heard, this week is Bike Week, yet the Government’s own statistics show that they are failing to increase cycling. Research shows many people are too scared to ride a bike. This is hardly surprising given that aggressive driving is increasing and 10 cyclists are killed or seriously injured every day, according to the road safety charity Brake. Is it not high time for the Government to show some leadership and make a substantial investment in safe cycle routes and more traffic police to encourage everyone to cycle, rather than just giving tax breaks to a few wealthier cyclists when they buy a new bike? What the Government should do now is make cycling for the many, not just the brave.

Photo of Michael Ellis Michael Ellis Minister of State (Department for Transport)

I am pleased to say that I have been cycling this week, so I do not think it is just the brave who are going cycling. The average number of miles cycled per person has increased by 54% since 2002. The number of trips cycled has remained between 14 and 18 for the last 16 years, however, and we are putting massive investment into this area and will continue to do so.