Calls for more funding welcomed by Shropshire cyclists

Cyclists in Shropshire have welcomed a report calling for the Government to massively increase spending on cycling infrastructure - but said it was vital that funding continued for existing community projects.

A report by the House of Commons transport committee says investment into cycling infrastructure should rise to at least £10 per person by 2020 to encourage more people to get on their bikes.

Investment is estimated to be about £2 a person in most parts of the UK outside of cities like London.

MPs said the UK’s roads were not welcoming enough for cyclists, and criticised the haulage industry saying too many lorries were responsible for accidents involving cyclists.

Mike Jones, managing director of Stan’s Cycles in Shrewsbury, said educating motorists needed to be a big priority.

He said: “It’s clearly good news that MPs are calling for more investment in cycling infrastructure, but we would argue that community and education activities are just as important - if not more so.

“For instance, Cycle Shrewsbury does a great job of raising awareness and running community events which are far more successful in getting people on their bikes than building a new cycle lane.

“At Stan’s Cycles we are fully supportive of the work of Cycle Shrewsbury, and it is vital that its funding continues.

“Ultimately, you can have the best facilities in the world but if no-one wants to use them, they’re useless.”

The House of Commons transport committee’s report was critical of existing road layouts, saying cycling was often treated as an “add-on to roads – an optional extra to be added if there was spare space, rather than a valid mode of transport”.

Ben Lawrence, organiser of the hugely successful Shrewsbury Cycle Grand Prix, added: “The relationship between cyclists and drivers is key because roads are there to be used by everyone, not just motorists.

“Making roads safer is a sure-fire way of encouraging more people to use their bikes instead of their car, which is better for their health and the environment.”

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Pete White Pete White

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