Money! Funding crisis! Household budget crunch! Welcome to Long Term Plan season

Local councillors across the country are grappling with their council’s 10-year budget, AKA Long Term Plan. It’s a fiscally grim outlook for households, councils and central government alike so the perfect time to get some perspective!

In 2023, with the rolling maul of COVID effects and sea level rise and climate change and our chronically borked public sector funding arrangements, things are worse than ever.

It is a truth universally acknowledged: any council scared about money will contemplate… axing local sustainable transport projects.

Now: it’s good that all public spending should have to make a case for itself.

But as it happens, a searing interrogation-grade spotlight is trained on safe cycling infrastructure and local public transport improvements, in particular, whereas some much less worthwhile projects often get to relax in the shadows, safe in the knowledge no-one’s going to ask any awkward questions about whether this should be cut.

So, for what it’s worth: what shows up when the searing “value for money” spotlight is trained on cycling infrastructure?

The following is some excellent analysis of what households are paying for the privilege of being forced to drive even short local trips (paying mostly to mega-corporate petrol companies) versus the rates contribution of building safe, connected cycling networks that’d let ordinary people have some choices about whether to use the car.

Anyone could do this: the author’s just used publicly-available information and pulled it together.

It’s below in twitter thread form, and here in a post.

Having read this, how do you feel about what’s “worth funding” in a funding crisis?

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