It's been described by George Monbiot as "the Climate Change Act's evil twin". The Infrastructure Bill is now at the most crucial stage in Parliament, and we have until Monday 26 January to to get our MPs voting for important changes.
Protection needed for local communities and the environment
With £15 billion being set aside for road investment in the Bill, and a new 'Strategic Highways Company' being created, your MP's vote will be needed to pass a range of vital amendments that will make the company:
- protect the environment and communities from problems like noise and air pollution
- work with local authorities when it makes plans
- stop the new 'watchdog' only sticking up for motorists and make it stick up for people living near main roads too
Support needed for cycling and walking
Update: A Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy has now been proposed as a Government amendment to the bill. This is great news, but we still need to make sure MPs vote to make it happen!
Cycling and walking are the healthiest and least environmentally damaging ways to travel, but current plans for investment are set to drop steeply from 2016 and fall to less than £1 per person per year from 2018.
A cross-party group of MPs is putting forward an amendment to the Infrastructure Bill that would introduce a Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy – that will guarantee long-term national investment in cycling and walking, in the same way that rail and roads will be funded if the Bill passes.
Thank you for writing to your MPs!
The debate and voting took place on Monday 26 January, and the Government's adopted version of the amendment was added unopposed to the Bill. The Times reported the move as 'historic' and we're very happy that long-term funding for cycling and walking is now in the Bill.
The final stages of the Bill will take place in the Lords, where we hope to see changes to make air pollution a priority of the new Highways Company too.