With limited funding for cycling, how can you work together with local and national partners to continue encouraging cycling in 2016?
When the Comprehensive Spending Review was announced in late November, the news for cycling in England wasn’t the greatest. Essentially a 58% cut in Department for Transport funding for cycling. Just £1.58 per person in England, well below the £10 per person as recommended in the ‘Get Britain Cycling’ report.
There will be more announcements in the New Year, especially with regard to the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS), however, in the meantime we need to keep moving.
So with limited funds… what can we all do?
1) Bring everyone to the table
Bring together partners from public health, the private sector, transportation, air quality, environment, and cycling advocates.
This means that you can pool the financial and human resources that you do have available for cycling promotion locally and together do a cycling project that will have an impact.
2) Take advantage of National Programmes
For example, the UK National Cycle Challenge and Cycle to Work Day are ideal programmes that you can promote locally. They’re existing campaigns with marketing materials and promotional tools that you can easily send around to your local cycling and business communities and get a result.
They’re also already being promoted by Cyclescheme, CTC, Love to Ride and others, so piggy backing on this existing promotion makes a lot of sense.
3) Only consider projects that deliver excellent value for money
With the budget that you do have (or which can be pulled together from local partners), make sure that your cycling projects are getting outstanding value for money.
For example, the cost to develop your own local campaign from scratch will be considerably higher than rolling out an existing, proven project. Once again the UK National Cycle Challenge and Cycle to Work Day have so much built into them - in terms of resources, tools and functionality - that for a relatively small budget, you can get a significant return on your investment.
With the current funding situation, we’re doing a number of things at Love to Ride to continue working with our local partners across the UK to encourage cycling. Read more about it here.