COUNCILLOR Sarah Lunnon has voiced her disappointment with the county council’s plans to put nearly £1 million over the next two years into making Gloucestershire’s roads more cycle friendly.
The county council is planning to spend £486,000 on infrastructure and bike training in the current financial year - more than double the £200,000 it spent last year – and a further £489,000 has also been earmarked to be spent in the next financial.
A successful bid to the Department for Transport for extra cash has made the budget commitment to infrastructure possible.
However cllr Lunnon, who represents the Stroud ward at the county council, does not think the cabinet’s plans go far enough.
Speaking to the SNJ she said: "This investment is not unwelcome but it's disappointing that given the huge health benefits associated with cycling GCC are announcing a mere £1 per head on cycle provision across the county.
“Two-thirds of adults are overweight and one in 10 children in Year 6 are now obese.
“We need GCC to lead a cultural change on our roads, to encourage levels of cycling achieved in Northern European countries to address this public health issue.”
Cllr Lunnon suggested that part of the money being put aside to make Gloucestershire’s roads a better place for cyclists should be spent to send the cabinet to the Netherlands to see first-hand what high quality cycle provision looks like.
“Just a short boat ride away the Dutch demonstrate how a small highly populated country can provide mass cycle provision,” she added.
Cllr Vernon Smith, cabinet member for highways, said: “After successfully winning a bid from the Department for Transport for extra funding to the county’s transport budget, we’ve been able to start to improve cycle lanes, route signage and public transport in Gloucestershire.
“By improving these things we’re hopeful that it will encourage people to leave the car at home and walk to the bus stop or get out their push bike.
“Cycling around our county and taking in the beautiful views is not only enjoyable, but it’s a great form of exercise and we’re confident that the improvements we’re making will make it an even better experience.”