Cycling gets £85m government boost after motorcycling cold shoulder

Having omitted motorcycling as the ideal form of isolating transportation in a post COVID-19 world, the government pumps £85m into cycleways


The UK government has announced it will look to capitalise on the shift away from public transport in the wake of the coronavirus crisis to invest £85 million in more cycleways across the country.

Marking National Bike Week, Highways England says it will look to open new paths and fund the creation of cycle routes in the South East and South West of England.

The announcement comes after the government pointedly omitted motorcycles and powered two-wheelers (PTWs) from its recommendation for getting around as an alternative to public transport. Instead, Grant Shapps – UK Minister for Transport – said walking, cycling, cars and even illegal e-scooters should be considered as options if you can avoid public transport.

In response, the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) has launched a multi-media campaign titled Unlock Your Freedom to encourage people to isolate safely and affordably by taking up motorcycle riding.

The new investment in cycling has been motivated by the push towards greener modes of transport, with Highways England Chief Executive Jim O’Sullivan saying:

“We care about everyone who uses our road network and we’ve made significant progress integrating cycling into the design of our schemes.

“Improved opportunities for cycling creates obvious benefits for health, safety and the wider environment. And during the current pandemic it is especially important that we can provide opportunities for cyclists and pedestrians, not barriers to their journeys as people return to work.”

As part of the initiative, plans include a £675,000 investment in Dorset Council’s project to improve cyclewards on the A35 and Sea Road South, and a new seven-mile route linking Chichester to Emsworth.