Government cycle lane micro-management is "supreme bollocks" according to Reading transport boss

Reading Council’s transport boss has criticised the government for ‘micro-managing’ the roll-out of new cycling infrastructure, branding its approach, “supreme bollocks.”

The government announced a £250m emergency active travel fund for the creation of pop-up bike lanes and other measures back in May. The money has been issued in two phases with the second, larger allocation made last week.

The first phase was for temporary schemes, which could later become permanent, and involved no consultation.

New guidance released alongside the second batch of funding emphasises the need for public consultation before constructing schemes.

The deputy leader of Reading Council, Tony Page, welcomed the change, but also said that not only does the Department for Transport (DfT) want councils to consult residents, it also wants them to inform central government how it plans to do so first.

“We have never done this before,” Page told Get Reading. “First time around, they told us not to bother. Rather than saying we should consult in advance this time around, they want to see how we intend on doing it.

“This is a level of micro-managing which is farcical. It is supreme bollocks. They cannot micro-manage 700-800 schemes across the country.”

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Reading received £221,250 in the first round of funding, followed by the £1,179,000 it had requested for its “core” projects in the second round of funding.

The council had also requested £2,830,000 for additional schemes, which has not been granted.

It will now reconsider the five schemes proposed as it has been five months since its bid was submitted and there is a feeling that priorities may have changed.

Commenting on the prospect of delivering the projects, Page said: “It is welcome news that the £1.18m is still available to the council but it would appear that the guidance contains a gamut of obstacles and caveats that have to be surmounted.”

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Credits : road.cc

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