Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Six good reasons to abolish Cycling England

#1 Abolishing Cycling England will help to reduce public spending
  • Cycling England spends £60,000,000 p.a., Abolishing it would save money, and only leaves another £127,940,000,000 to find from the annual saving of £128,000,000,000 that the treasury is looking for
  • Saving public money takes time. To placate the markets, and save on interest charges the treasury wants to reach that level of annual savings by 2015-16. That's about 5 years away. Cycling England has only a small staff, and most of the spending goes on projects, so it should be possible to make the savings quickly. Making a quick saving of 0.047% of the total should accelerate the date when the books balance. 0.047% of five years is about 18 hours - almost a whole day
#2 Abolishing Cycling England will help to improve tax revenues
  • The treasury raises virtually nothing from taxing cyclists (a bit of VAT on bicycles and accessories, which they would get whatever the money was spent on). But from car drivers they raise about £5.7bn a year in Vehicle Excise Duty, and £24bn in Fuel Duty, plus bits and bobs on congestion charge, tolls, and so on. They spend about half the total on maintaining the road network    
#3 Abolishing Cycling England will help with economic recovery
  • Each additional cyclists takes about £150 a year out of the economy, mostly in savings to the NHS, reduced cost of congestion, and reduced cost of pollution
  • As it costs about £15bn a year to maintain the road network, it  makes sense to make the maximum use of that huge investment
#4 Abolishing Cycling England will help to reduce welfare dependency
  • Cycling improves productivity at work, and extends life - the last thing we need at a time of high unemployment, when the priority is to reduce the numbers of claimants, and control the cost of state pensions
#5 Top nation status
  • The UK leads Europe in the proportion of the population that is obese or overweight, but at 61% of the population we have only a slender lead over Germany (ranking in second place at 60% of the population). There is a clear risk that we lose top place in these rankings if too many people exercise
#6 Cycling England has already achieved its goals, and its work is therefore complete
  • The Conservative Manifesto committed to "give the concerns of cyclists higher priority"; the Liberal Democrat manifesto committed to "facilitate an increase in levels of cycling and walking, through investment, information and innovation; use local transport planning to promote the adoption of sustainable transport methods, including cycling...; ensure that there is an obligation on developers to plan for the provision of ... walking and cycling facilities; promote an expansion of the National Cycle Network, particularly off-road routes; on-road cycling will be made easier, safer and more accessible to all; promote cycling competency schemes and encourage better facilities for cyclists; introduce a cycling ‘Gold Standard’ award for all rail and bus stations meeting minimum cycle facility standards, including adequate provision of secure cycle parking and information on local cycle routes; support the adoption of large scale bicycle rental programmes; ensure that road traffic law is enforced with equal vigour in relation to cyclists; the coalition agreement commits to support sustainable travel initiatives, including the promotion of cycling. With that level of commitment in place, there can be no further need for an independent body tasked with promoting cycling

1 comment:

Shaun McDonald said...

Um while it'd be helping the economic recovery, won't that increase public spending thus end up costing the government more, and counteract the "benefit" of abolishing Cycling England?