AA says more cycle routes GOOD for drivers as they 'reduce congestion'

Head of the AA says more cycle routes would be GOOD for drivers as more people choosing to ride bicycles ‘could help reduce congestion’

  • AA boss Edmund King has said that drivers would benefit from more cycle lanes
  • ‘Most cyclists are drivers’ so cycle infrastructure should be levelled up, he said
  • Fewer short car trips ‘reduce traffic and costs’, as cycling ‘brings £36bn to UK’
  • Along with pro-cycling and road safety groups he called on gov to protect funds

The AA’s chief has said more cycle routes will benefit British drivers as they will reduce congestion and save them money – as the Government debates cutting walking and cycling scheme budgets.

The motoring organisation’s president Edmund King said that motorists taking fewer short car trips and cycling instead would reduce road congestion and spending on home fuel costs.

‘Every driver is a pedestrian and most cyclists are drivers, therefore it is in everyone’s interest to level up walking and cycling infrastructure,’ said Mr King.

‘By creating new routes, as well as investing in existing paths and footways, we can create a safer, greener transport network that benefits all road users.

‘Maintaining the £4billion budget for these projects will also help drivers save money on fuel or electricity.’

AA president Edmund King (pictured) said that motorists taking fewer short car trips and cycling instead would reduce road congestion and spending on home fuel costs

According AA research, their members are most likely to consider replacing one car journey a week with a bicycle ride, with 47 per cent considering the option 

‘Every driver is a pedestrian and most cyclists are drivers, therefore it is in everyone’s interest to level up walking and cycling infrastructure,’ said Mr King. Pictured: An AA breakdown rescue van towing a trailer carrying a motorcycle

According AA research, their members are most likely to consider replacing one car journey a week with a bicycle ride, with 47 per cent considering the option.

Replacing car trips with an e-bike ride came in a close second with 41 per cent of members saying they would do so.

His comments came after a call on the Transport Secretary ‘protect and build on’ £3.8billion of funding for active transport development in England ahead of Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s budget balancing later this month.

The call in a letter to Anne-Marie Trevelyan spearheaded by walking and cycling charity Sustrans was co-signed by Mr King alongside pro-cycling and road safety charities, the Federation of Small Businesses, the CPRE and other campaigns.

Walking and cycling generated an economic benefit of £36.5billion in the UK, according to research by Sustrans. In a new report they urged the Government to improve pavements and cycle routes and introduce a voucher scheme for walking, cycling and wheeling equipment.

The letter co-signed by the Mr King said that the AA, along with the other signatories ‘need to stop pitting motoring against walking, wheeling and cycling’.

It read: ‘Cycling and walking infrastructure unlocks housing developments giving people more choice in how they travel and connecting them to work and education.

‘Walking, wheeling and cycling also invigorate the high street with people walking on average spending 40% more than those who drive.

His comments came after a call on the Transport Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan (pictured) ‘protect and build on’ £3.8billion of funding for active transport development in England ahead of Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s budget balancing later this month

The letter continued: ‘We have to continue to invest in active travel programmes and infrastructure to give people a genuine choice to leave the car at home for shorter journeys and better connect them to public transport, saving fuel costs for when they really need it whilst also ensuring access to jobs and services for those without access to a car.’

In February 2020, then-Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced £2billion of funding until 2025 for active travel in England. The funding pledge was then boosted to £3.68billion in July this year.

A Department for Transport spokesman said: ‘We have invested record amounts to enable more walking, wheeling and cycling through better infrastructure, cycle training and active travel prescriptions, and are committed to ensuring active travel remains high on our agenda.’

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