Where is the commitment to fund cycling?

Ely Weekly News ArticleIn 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.

[Department of Health Study from 2010]

2. It’s popular

YouGov found

“a majority of Britons (69%) –across all age groups – want the government to try to get more people on bikes”

[Results of YouGov Survey]

 3. It’s good for everyone

Investment in cycling benefits the whole of society not just people riding bikes.

[Times Article outlining the benefits to  non-cyclists]

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%.

[Series of articles and reports on the benefits to retailers of cycling infrastructure]

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?

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