Sustainable transport teams on receiving end of local budget cuts

photo Public and private initiatives to increase cycle commuting are being hit by council budget cuts

It's vital that cyclists make their views known to local government as sustainable travel planners across the UK are losing their jobs as council budget cuts bite.

The latest issue of Local Transport Today reports that "low-cost behaviour change policies to reduce car use are struggling for survival as councils focus on frontline services".

Sustainable transport specialists in the private sector are also losing their jobs as the private sector follows local government's lead, anticipating a lack of match funding for sustainable travel projects.

Travel planning activity in London is suffering, and several Transport for London schemes are coming to a close, including funding of the enterprise voluntary workplace travel plans and a corporate scheme for larger businesses.

TfL's Smarter Travel Richmond programme will end a year earlier than expected in March 2011.

There's some hope that the Department for Transport’s four-year £560m Local Sustainable Transport Fund will provide some impetus nationally to tackle the over-reliance on motorised transport.

LCC's Mike Cavenett said, "This demonstrates the widespread lack of commitment to sustainable transport.

"While cycling and walking should lie at the core of urban planning, they're too often on the periphery.

"The mayor's headline schemes, such as Cycle Hire and the Superhighways, have survived the cuts, but these are only likely to have an incremental effect on the numbers choosing to cycle regularly.

"There's never been a more important time for cyclists to be vocal as there is now."