Published on Monday, May 11, 2020

Pilots union 'aghast and furious' at Govt's cycling and walking fund

The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) has reacted furiously to the news that the Government has announced £2bn in funding for cycling and walking while the British aviation industry is in a death spiral.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said at the weekend that pop-up bike lanes, wider pavements, safer junctions, and cycle and bus-only corridors will be created in England within weeks as part of a £250m emergency fund to encourage people away from public transport as they return to work.

It is the first part a £2bn package for cycling and walking, which was part of a £5bn investment announced in February, the Department for Transport said.

BALPA general secretary Brian Strutton said, "The aviation sector is already facing 23,000 job cuts, with the potential for many more in the weeks and months to come.

"The Government's proposed 14 day quarantine proposal for incoming international travellers will put even more pressure on the industry for the foreseeable future, and dispute repeated promises, we've seen not a single penny in dedicated, bespoke support for airlines.

"Given all this, British pilots will be absolutely aghast and frankly furious at £2bn being found for 'walking and cycling' when the airline industry, which is so vital to the UK economy, is dying before our eyes.

"When will the Government recognise that the British airline business is in a death spiral and intervene to support this vital industry and stop the jobs cull?"

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