MP advocates cycle lane rate discounts

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BUSINESSES should be given incentives to sponsor cycle lanes so more are installed in Yorkshire, according to one of the region’s MPs.

York Outer MP Julian Sturdy has urged Ministers to consider offering companies business rate discounts if they agree to pay for extra lanes.

He wants to encourage more people to get onto their bikes but is concerned it can be dangerous for children to cycle around cities without dedicated lanes for their bikes.

“One way we could get more cycle tracks is for local businesses to be involved, as has happened in London,” said Mr Sturdy. “If we could get local businesses and large employers to sponsor dedicated cycle tracks in return for a discount in their local rates, that might be a way forward.”

Mr Sturdy made his suggestion in a House of Commons debate as MPs consider how to get more people onto two wheels – and how to make it safer.

In London, Barclays has sponsored the Mayor’s so-called “Boris Bike” hire scheme and more “super-highway” cycle lanes have been created.

“I’m a great supporter of dedicated cycle lanes if we’re going to get more people out cycling, especially young people,” Mr Sturdy told the Yorkshire Post.

“We all know the difficult finances local authorities are facing at the moment so there’s not a huge amount of money out there to fund dedicated lanes because they’re an expensive project, so I just think we need to look at new ways of getting this funding.

“I’d like Ministers and the Government to look at all these new options and innovative ideas. Nothing should be off the agenda at the moment if we’re to drive these things forward.”

Leeds North East MP Fabian Hamilton urged Yorkshire cities to meet high cycling standards set in Holland, where far more people get around on two wheels.

He said Leeds was “pretty poor” for cycling, although he added York was “good”.