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Sustrans: Next Prime Minister must commit to long-term active travel funding

Sustainable transport charity warns that without adequate cash, roads will continue to be source of “frustration and pollution”

Sustrans has called on the next Prime Minister to ensure that long-term investment is maintained for active travel, including cycling and walking.

With Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak currently vying to become the new leader of the Conservative Party – and with it, get the keys to Number 10 Downing Street – there are concerns that Boris Johnson’s successor will not be as committed to active travel as the outgoing Prime Minister has been.

> Boris Johnson resignation: A blow for active travel?

The announcement that he was standing down as Tory leader was made in the sane week in which Transport Minister Trudy Harrison, whose portfolio includes responsibility for active travel, announced the second cycling and walking investment strategy (CWIS2).

> Government’s second cycling and walking investment strategy outlines almost £4bn funding for active travel – and aims to double the number of cycling trips by 2025

Xavier Brice, chief executive of the Bristol-based sustainable transport policy, has outlined in an Opinion piece published on road.cc today the reasons why Sunak, or more likely according to the polls, Truss, needs to commit to long-term funding for active travel.

> For Net Zero, cost of living and the NHS: leaders must double down on Government active travel promises

His comments come on a day when print and broadcast media are widely reporting comments made yesterday to the Mail by Transport secretary Grant Shapps that he believes cyclists should be required to have number plates on their bikes, take out third party insurance, and be subject to the same speed limits as motorists – although the cabinet minister has subsequently backtracked somewhat on the issue.

> Confusion as Grant Shapps now says he is “not attracted to bureaucracy” of number plates for cyclists

A Sustrans spokesperson told road.cc: “We must all continue to look out for each other as we travel, and use the roads responsibly.

“There is a long-standing frustration on UK roads, shared by all users, caused by insufficient infrastructure to accommodate walkers, wheelers, cyclists, horse-riders and drivers – all of whom should be able to access the highways.

“Without continued levels of Government investment, ensured by the next Prime Minister and focused on prioritising active travel, our roads will continue to be the source of not only frustration, but of continually worsening pollution.

“Sustrans works to make it easier for people to walk and cycle for their physical health, their wallets, and community happiness. We know that when people feel safer, they are more likely to take up active travel, and this change is now more crucial than ever.”

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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