CTC calls on councils to fund cycle facilities through road maintenance programmes

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As the Government proposes a £50m fund for maintaining pedestrian and cycling routes, CTC calls for councils to maximise the synergies between their cycling programmes and their planned road maintenance budgets.
New York track built through maintenance work. Photo D Passmore (CC licence)
New York cycle facility delivered through planned road maintenance work. Photo by Dylan Passmore (Creative Commons licence)

CTC has welcomed Government proposals to earmark £50m annually for maintaining walking and cycling facilities, out of the £976m distributed annually to councils for local road maintenance.

However, CTC believes even more cycle-friendly improvements could be made very cost-effectively if councils considered ways to deliver new or improved cycle provision whenever they are planning to resurface a road.

CTC has long argued that carriageway resurfacing works are a highly cost-effective opportunity for highway authorities to provide new or improved cycle provision as part of the package.  CTC members voted to campaign on this issue at CTC’s AGM in May 2013.

"When councils are planning to resurface a carriageway, it makes obvious sense for them to think about how they could incorporate cycling improvements into their plans". Graham Smith, Lecturer in Urban Design and CTC Councillor

The AGM motion was proposed by Graham Smith, a university lecturer in urban design and CTC Councillor for the South East of England.  Graham said: "When councils are planning to resurface a carriageway, it makes obvious sense for them to think about how they could incorporate cycling improvements into their plans".

This approach has been very successfully deployed in New York. The city's Department of Transport has delivered a number of high-profile but inexpensive cycle facilities in conjunction with planned road maintenance work. These have contributed to substantial increases in cycle use in recent years.

In the UK, Plymouth City Council is among those who have adopted the idea.  CTC now hopes the Government will issue new guidelines encouraging others to follow suit.

The consultation is part of the Government’s Highway Maintenance Efficiency Programme (HMEP).  CTC represented cycling interests on the HMEP’s ‘Pothole review group.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has recently agreed funding to improve CTC’s ‘Fill that Hole’ website, where members of the public (whether cyclists, drivers or anyone else) can report potholes and other highway defects to the right person in the right local authority.  ‘Fill that Hole’ enables local authorities to respond to defects reported by the public quickly and efficiently, and has been welcomed by cyclists and local authorities alike. 

DfT’s funding will allow CTC to upgrade the current ‘Fill that Hole’ website and iPhone app, as well as developing an Android app.  Fill that Hole recently figured in the Sport and Recreation Alliance’s top ten apps for sport and fitness – despite being also very much intended for use by day-to-day cyclists and indeed by drivers.


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