In this week’s Ely Weekly News Councillor Moakes has replied to our opposition to East Cambs funding the A14 toll road. In his response he says:
“we must create a balance in our transport infrastructure”
And that ECDC are:
“working in partnership with the county council to help them … look after all forms of transport: bus, cycle, road and rail”
CIL and S106 funding
What Councillor Moakes doesn’t say is that “working in partnership” doesn’t include providing funding. This is important because cycling in the district gets virtually no Government funding. The only source of funding for cycling improvements is the money paid by developers (like Sainsburys. Aldi and the developers of the new housing to the north of Ely) in the form of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and Section 106 (S106) contributions. This funding is controlled by ECDC and it’s this funding Councillor Moakes wants to spend on the A14.
Why should ECDC be investing in cycling?
We have challenged Councillor Moakes to produce evidence that the A14 toll road will bring benefits to the district, he has so far failed to do so.
Here are the reasons to invest in cycling:
1. It provides a huge return on investment
For every £1 invested in cycling provides a return of between £13 and £19 to society at large.
2. It’s popular
“a majority of Britons (69%) –across all age groups – want the government to try to get more people on bikes”
3. It’s good for everyone
Investment in cycling benefits the whole of society not just people riding bikes.
4. It’s especially good for local retailers
Shoppers arriving by bike spend more and are more likely to use smaller local shops.
Shops along recently built cycleways have seen an increase in trade of up to 50%.
Will ECDC commit to funding cycling?
Given all the reasons why it makes sense to invest in cycling, will ECDC commit to long-term funding?
We want them to make a long-term commitment to invest a significant percentage of the CIL and S106 money they receive into cycling infrastructure improvements.
Over to you Councillor Moakes, will you provide a “balance in transport infrastructure” by funding cycling properly?