We were under the impression that the country is in the grip of extensive austerity measures to save public money. It seems this doesn’t apply to Cameron’s pet projects.
Cameron announced on the 12th August that the government is to spend a massive £94 million on upgrading and improving cycle paths in eight cities, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Newcastle, Bristol, Cambridge, Oxford, and Norwich.
The initial figure quoted for investment was £77 million, but this has been increased to £94 million in an announcement by Cameron at the launch event in Watford that there is additional funding for some national parks.
Cameron’s timing for this initiative is moronic. With massive cuts right across public spending, including council funding and welfare cutbacks, Cameron has decided to spend money on a luxury project.
At a time when councils cannot afford to properly repair pot holes in their roads because of having to try and subsidise welfare cutbacks and government hacking away at their budgets, spending £94 million on cyclists is both unnecessary and unproductive for the greater population.
Perhaps the money would have been better spent on providing community transport for the elderly, as more services are disappearing because of government cutbacks. Or perhaps it would be better spent on community care services which have faced near annihilation because of austerity measures.
There are more beneficial things £94 million could be spent on. Funding cycle paths is like buying a supercar when you can’t afford to pay rent or the mortgage – absolutely irresponsible and downright stupid.
The reason Cameron and his bunch of monkeys have decided to spend this money on cyclists is for political reasons. The government knows it is in one hell of a lot of trouble and will find it very difficult to win the next election in 2015
Falling membership of the Conservative party (now less that around 100,000 – 50% less than when Camron became leader in 1995), and increasing hostility to the ridiculous policies and obvious manipulation and corruption of government have reduced their chances dramatically. In the last election in 2010, the Conservatives did not win outright, only gaining 37% of vote, and were forced to enter into a coalition with the Liberal Democrats.
Cameron has decided he needs to go on a ‘charm offensive’ and woo votes.
Regular cyclists make up about 1.8% of the population (around 700,000 who use bicycles regularly to travel to and from work), with around 4% of the population (3 million) cycling three times a week or more. That’s a lot of potential votes for the Conservatives to gain without it costing them a penny, because (as usual) they will use taxpayer’s cash.
Having a plan to implement schemes to promote cycling and make it safer is a good thing, but not at a time when there are other priorities that desperately need funding.