by Alex Bowden July 15 2016
Government target is to double cycling levels by 2020
British Cycling has welcomed the appointment of Chris Grayling as the new Secretary of State for Transport, but has called for immediate action on existing government commitments. The organisation argues that there is ‘a very real risk’ that the government will not hit its target of doubling the number of journeys cycled by 2020.
Pointing to the latest transport statistics which show there has been no significant increase in cycling journeys in England over the last year, British Cycling campaign manager Martin Key said that Grayling’s first step should be to publish the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy and begin the actions needed to meet the government’s 2020 target.
“In the post-referendum environment it is clear that the country must invest in sustainable transport infrastructure to attract inward investment, be more competitive on the global stage and tackle pollution in our communities. Our #ChooseCycling Network of businesses, who between them employ half a million people, tell us they want to invest in areas where cycling is prioritised.
“Investment in cycling in London has shown that dedicated infrastructure works and all the components now exist for a Transport Minister to help to solve some major societal problems by truly revolutionising the way we get around. We, and no doubt millions of people who cycle or would like to cycle, will be urging Mr Grayling to take this opportunity.”
Grayling has been Leader of the House of Commons since the 2015 general election and previously served as the Justice Secretary from 2012. He also served as the Shadow Secretary of State for Transport between 2005 and 2007.
During his stint at the Ministry of Justice, Grayling increased penalties for drivers who kill or seriously injure other road users while banned. He also announced plans to launch a full review of all driving offences and penalties, but this has still not taken place. In February, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice, Andrew Selous, said that sentencing in such cases would now be considered as part of a wider consultation of all criminal offences planned to take place before the end of the year.