DfT Webchat about their Cycling Delivery Plan

The DfT conducted a 1 hour webchat today where they answered 22 questions (yes only 22 in an hour) about their Cycling Delivery Plan. We asked several questions about funding and national standards but they only answered 2 of them.

Here’s the full transcript

Hi, it’s Alison Franks and Jay Begum from the Cycling & Walking Policy Team here. We’re waiting for your questions on the Cycling Delivery Plan.
Comment From Guest

Hi, Hayley Chivers from Portsmouth City Council. We are a member of Solent Transport, a joint partnership with Southampton, Hampshire and IOW councils. Would we be able to join partnership as Solent Transport? This is a preference of Solent LEP.


Hi Hayley, yes that would be great. We welcome partnerships from whatever works for you in your local area. We will be giving more thorough guidance on partnerships in the final version of the Delivery Plan.

Comment From Luke

Could you give me some guidance on “expectation of government’s role in the partnership” please


Hi Luke, government will be providing access to tools and incentives including priority access to new funding, support in implementing your plans and access to a knowledge sharing network.

Comment From Guest

Without funding this “plan” is a pointless wishlist. HS2 and the strategic road network have dedicated long term funding, even though return on investment for them is much less than that for cycling. Where is the long term funding commitment for cycling?


There are a variety of sources of long term funding available for walking and cycling – the Local Growth Fund, funding through the Active Travel Consortium and potentially the highways maintenance funding and the Roads Investment Strategy. However, we are also committed to the principles of localism and hope local authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships will sign up to the commitments set out in the Plan.

Comment From Richard Burton

On the news this morning was an article about setting up a National Fracking College to address the skill gap in this relatively new technology. Given that the average transport planner is completely ignorant of planning for cyclists, will there be a National Cycling College and will all new and existing transport planners be required to attend?


Hi Richard, the Cycle Proofing Working Group has a key strand of work to ensure transport professionals are trained and able to design infrastructure that works for cyclists. We are working with professional institutions such as Chartered Institute of Highways & Transportation (CIHT) on this.

Comment From Kevin Golding-Williams

Hi, Kevin here from Living Streets. Thanks for arranging webchat this morning. We welcome the ambition to increase the percentage of children aged 5-10 that usually walk to school to 55% in 2025 but believe this should be a target


Hi Kevin, yes this is what we are aiming for in 2025 and will be monitoring and reporting on progress.

Comment From Ely Cycling Campaign

Where does the £5 per head current funding figure come from, we don’t have anywhere near that level of funding in our area.


Hi Ely, this is a national figure on average across England. It is made up of funding for Bikeability, the Cycling Ambition Grants, LSTF (cycling share), cycle-rail, Cycle Safety Fund, Highways Agency funding for ‘cycle proofing’, from DfT and local contributions.

Comment From MJ Ray

Can partnerships be rewarded for adopting the London Cycling Design Standards or similar?


Hi MJ, we are developing the criteria for partnerships during the consultation phase so thank you for your suggestion. We need to keep in mind that what works for London may not work for all areas, particularly rural communities.

Comment From Hayley – Portsmouth

Would we be expected to/ be able to only join partnership once and not twice as Solent Transport and Portsmouth? If we joined as Solent Transport there are some differing walking and cycling needs across the region would this be of detriment if it meant there were several focuses across the area?


Hi Hayley, we are still working on the specific criteria, so it is useful to know what questions you have. As I said, we will publish criteria and guidance in the final Plan but do not intend to be excessively predictive.

Comment From Paul Horne

Hi is there a date for Councils to return their expression of interests?


Hi Paul, no it is an open, rolling invitation. More details to follow in the final Plan!

Comment From Mark Strong

How will you work to bring together Local Authorities who want to improve cycling but may not quite know what they need yet? Will there be a network facilitated by DfT along the lines of the former Local Authority Cycle Planning Group?


Hi Mark, we are planing on extending the LSTF knowledge sharing network to bring together Local Authorities to share lessons learnt and good practice.

Comment From George

Are you aware of ‘Crossrail for Bikes’ that has been proposed in London? Will you be putting schemes of a similar standard on the table for other parts of UK? E.g. Full and safe separation of bikes and motor traffic?


Hi George, yes we are aware of this. We believe that it is for Local Authorities to design schemes that work best for their local areas.

Comment From Guest

I did send a email asking about a London based meeting but without reply. I realise that London is slightly different but it does still need to link with national policies and any knowledge sharing facility. The old Cycling England did have links with London but this policy seems to be England without London.


Hi, sorry you haven’t received a reply to your email. We are hoping to arrange a London-based roadshow next week and will publicise details as soon as possible.

Comment From George

Are you going to encourage the spread of 20 MPH zones that have worked effectively in London to boost cycling levels? E.g. City of London now totally 20 MPH. Can this become the ‘norm’ for town centres and small villages?


Hi George, we have already made it easier for Local Authorities to implement 20mph zones. It is up to authorities whether or not they wish to adopt these.

Comment From Paul

Has the term “cycle proofing” been given further clarification? as this term seems to be subject to a good deal of interpretation.


Hi Paul, broadly cycle proofing is about ensuring that cyclists are considered at the design stage of new and improved road infrastructure. The Cycle Proofing Working Group are currently agreeing a more detailed definition.

Comment From Adam Semenenko

Your comment that there is long term funding available is incredibly misleading. The amounts are pitiful, less than 0.7% of DfT funding is spent on cycling, making your strategy look like dismissive pandering at best.


Hi Adam, this government is serious about making the UK a cycling nation and has more than doubled spend on cycling, with £374m committed between 2011 and 2015 on cycling initiatives. We want cycling and walking to become the natural choice for shorter journeys and will be working with local authorities to help them access funding at a local level.

Comment From Lucie

Hi, do you have any plans or strategy to encourage harmony between motorists and cyclists. I work for pro-cyclists solicitors and the antipathy between these groups (particularly from motorists) is deeply-trodden and, in my opinion, a huge barrier to plans to increase the number of people cycling.


Hi Lucie, we do engage with motoring groups such as the AA as well as cycling groups. Mutual respect is key, and our recent Think! campaigns encourage drivers and cyclists to look out for each other.

Comment From Gary Dawes

One concern I have is that even with this plan, there is no duty on councils to provide safe space for walking and cycling schemes either on their own or as part of larger projects. Is there any plan to tackle lack of interest or ambition from LAs?


Hi Gary, last week we published three documents that we hope will help make the case for providing for walking and cycling. These can be found at https://www.gov.uk/governme…


Comment From Ambrose White

Hi there, following yesterday’s workshop I am just seeking some more clarity on timescales. I understood that following the informal consultation which is due to finish tomorrow, there will be a further period of public consultation (4 weeks?). After this ] the Plan will be published


Hi Ambrose, sorry for any misunderstanding. The consultation phase we are in now is the only period of consultation.

Comment From Sheffield Cycle Chic

What specific measures will be implemented to make cycling safer for small children?


Hi Sheffield, we want to make cycling safer for everybody. Through the Bikeability cycle training programme we have already trained over 1m school children to the National Standards, and will endeavour to continue funding Bikeability training post 2015/16.

Comment From Richard Burton

You haven’t answered the question about dedicated long term funding, like that for HS2 and the strategic road network, so where is the commitment to funding?


Hi Richard. The Cycling Delivery Plan is a 10 year plan with a number of actions and commitments to increase cycling and walking. We do take cycling very serious which is why funding has more than doubled under this government, and why there are a number of funding opportunities described in the Delivery Plan.

Comment From Alex

I can see that you have a clear direction from above to follow localism. What reports or other facts and knowledge will DfT be producing to help campaigners, politicians and others promote local policy that makes the roads safer for cycling and walking?


Hi Alex, I linked to some reports earlier that should help. We will also be publishing guidance to help Local Authorities make the economic case for cycling when we publish the final Delivery Plan. And we will be extending the Local Sustainable Transport Fund knowledge sharing network.

Comment From Ely Cycling Campaign

You have just said the Govt have committed £374m to cyclling over 4 years, that is 93.5m per year and £1.30 per year per head (pop. of 70m). That’s not even close to the £5 per year per head stated in the delivery plan. Which is correct?


Hi, the £374m is funding committed by DfT for cycling initiatives. The £5 per head figure is based on funding committed to cycling including local contributions released due to DfT investment.


Thanks to everyone for participating. Sorry we couldn’t answer all questions in the time available. We appreciate your input and will combine them with feedback we received at the roadshows when producing the final Delivery Plan.

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