The Government today launched its long-awaited cycling and walking investment strategy. In the foreword, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling says that over £1 billion of funding will be made available to local bodies “that may be invested in cycling and walking over the next five years.”
Outlining its aim to double cycling levels by 2025, the Government gave the following breakdown of £1.2bn worth of funding.
- £50 million to provide cycling proficiency training for further 1.3 million children
- £101 million to improve cycling infrastructure and expand cycle routes between the city centres, local communities, and key employment and retail sites
- £85 million to make improvements to 200 sections of roads for cyclists
- £80 million for safety and awareness training for cyclists, extra secure cycle storage, bike repair, maintenance courses and road safety measures
- £389.5 million for councils to invest in walking and cycling schemes
- £476.4 million from local growth funding to support walking and cycling
Grayling commented: “We are making cycling and walking more accessible to everyone because of the substantial health and environmental benefits – it will also be a boost for businesses because a fitter and healthier workforce is more productive.
“We have already tripled spending on cycling since 2010 and we are now publishing a long-term investment plan because we are absolutely committed to increasing levels of cycling and walking.”
— Dept for Transport (@transportgovuk) April 21, 2017
Transport Minister Andrew Jones added: “As the days are becoming longer and warmer we want to encourage people to make cycling and walking the natural choice for shorter journeys – improving people’s health, reducing travel costs, cutting congestion and cleaning up the environment in the process.
“Today we have set out our long-term approach to encourage more people to cycle or walk and overcome the barriers which stop them from doing so.”
Roger Geffen MBE, Policy Director at Cycling UK said: "Cycling UK has spent years campaigning for a strong and well-funded Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, so we’re pleased to see it finally published two years after it was initially announced.
“With national as well as local elections now looming, Cycling UK will be doing all we can to build the cross-party support needed to strengthen this investment strategy over time, while supporting councils in making best use of the resources available, as they start bringing this vision to life.”
Among its commitments, the Government is investing £1m in Cycling UK’s Big Bike Revival scheme which provides free bike maintenance and cycling classes.
Chief Executive Paul Tuohy said: “Cycling is a fantastic transport choice, helping you to stay active and healthy as part of your daily routine, and saving you money on travel costs. Cycling UK’s Big Bike Revival will help tens of thousands of people back into cycling by getting your bikes checked over, fixed up and back into use. We are grateful to the Department for Transport for supporting this initiative for this, our third year of national activities to help get more of the UK cycling more often.”
Chief Executive of Sustrans, Xavier Brice, said: “The first ever ‘Cycling and walking investment strategy’ is a significant step forward by the government. There is an overwhelming body of evidence that demonstrates that investment in cycling and walking has many health, social and economic benefits and must be prioritised. The challenge now is to deliver the change needed locally and nationally.”