Investment, standards and auditing required - Embassy response to Autumn Statement

It's not entirely clear from the Autumn Statement just how much annual spending will be allocated to cycling over the course of this parliament. However, the signs are that it will be minimal, and certainly not enough to make a significant difference at a national level to enable mass cycling.

Cycle traffic signals mother child cycling Assen

A genuine 'cycling revolution' requires steady and constant guaranteed investment into cycling infrastructure, so that strategic plans can be made at local level, and that knowledge and expertise isn't lost.

Perhaps just as importantly, if the government is serious about devolution and enabling cycling at a local level, it must put together national standards for cycling infrastructure design – consistent, high-quality guidance that local authorities can draw upon, rather than relying on the current hotch-potch of design guidance, of mixed quality.

Finally, we would suggest that all new cycling schemes should be subject to an auditing system – for instance, Transport for London's Cycling Level of Service - to ensure they are fit for purpose. Far too much money has been wasted in recent history on schemes of poor quality that make a negligible difference to hostile cycling environments. Schemes should have to pass a minimum score before they are even considered.

Only with all of these three strands in place – consistent, ambitious levels of investment; high-quality standards; and auditing of new schemes – will any progress be made.