Last week I met Norman Baker, minister for transport, in parliament. The part of his brief that interested me most was sustainable transport. Norman has been campaigning on these issues for many years so he is fully aware of what needs to be done – now he is in government he has a chance to do it.
Concentrating on cycling he highlighted the role of the Local Sustainable Transport Fund as a vehicle for local government to bid for cycle schemes in their area.
Clearly all cyclists would welcome more being invested in facilities for cyclists. The fund, which is only £560m over four years, is not much in terms of government spending. The good news is that it is growing year on year from £80m this year to £180 in 2014/15. If spend wisely it could have a great effect. I think I would spend it a bit of it on lowering the speed limits thus making cycling a much safer proposition– maybe I should make bid.
Unlikely most industries, transport is a major contributor to the taxman so in a way this is just our getting our money back.
Norman Baker has seen what the Danes and the Dutch have achieved and therefore knows that we have a long way to go to match their success. But as he said the best time to start is now.