3 November 2014
The House of Lords could take the first steps towards halting the decline in funding for walking and cycling today, as it considers an amendment to the Infrastructure Bill proposed by six national organisations.
The Infrastructure Bill, which the government hopes to make law by March next year, is set to deliver the biggest shake up to the roads network in a generation, yet makes no mention of cycling and walking.
Dedicated funding to increase cycling and walking is set to diminish dramatically from 2016, while the government proceeds with the greatest investment in our roads since the 1970s.
The proposed amendment seeks to bring walking and cycling in line with the road and rail networks. It calls for a Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy to set out a long-term vision, guaranteed funding and key performance indicators.
The Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy would be divided into four parts, setting out:
- a long-term vision to increase walking and cycling rates across the whole population, in rural as well as urban areas;
- a ‘Statement of Funds Available’ for the next five years that would be spent specifically on cycling and walking;
- a detailed Investment Plan of programmes and schemes - for example to improve cycle-rail integration, retrofit safe walking and cycling paths along busy roads and give provincial towns and cities London-style cycling measures and exemplary public spaces;
- a Performance Specification of measures and targets - for example increases in cycling and walking levels, improvement in safety, and the proportion of schools and stations with safe routes to them.
Sustrans Policy Director, Jason Torrance, said: “The Infrastructure Bill provides a golden opportunity for Parliament to guarantee funding for cycling and walking beyond 2016, as it has done for rail and roads, as well as setting ambitious targets for change.
“The legacy of this vote could be a healthier, cleaner and more prosperous England – it’s an opportunity we can’t afford to miss.”
Stephen Joseph, Chief Executive of Campaign for Better Transport, said: "The imbalance between government investment in roads and promoting active travel options has got to stop if we're to reduce carbon emissions and give people the transport choices they deserve. Only ring-fenced funding for walking and cycling can ensure this happens."
Martin Key, Campaigns Manager of British Cycling, said: “If Britain wants to become a true cycling nation, it needs proper planning and investment. The Infrastructure Bill is a route to influence the government to truly commit to make travelling by bike an attractive option for all people.”
Roger Geffen, Campaigns & Policy Director of CTC, the national cycling charity, said: “To deliver a cycling revolution to England dedicated funding is urgently needed. We need to transform our roads, streets and communities into places where cycling is a safe and normal activity for everyone, as this will maximise cycling’s massive health, economic and other benefits.”
Joe Irvin, Chief Executive of Living Streets, said: “Facilities for people to walk and cycle are an integral part of our national infrastructure, vital for travel, health and the environment.
“The Infrastructure Bill provides Parliament with an opportunity to ensure investment in walking and cycling continues post 2016, in particular on the major roads managed by the new Highways Agency company.”
Notes to editors
- The supporters are Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), Campaign for Better Transport, CTC - the national cycling charity, British Cycling, Sustrans and Living Streets.
- The Infrastructure Bill was introduced in Queen’s Speech in June 2014 and is expected to become law by March 2015. It is available on Parliament’s website:http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2014-15/infrastructure.html
For further information please contact:
Sustrans’ Press office on 0207 780 7231 or email email@example.com
Campaign for Better Transport press office on 020 7566 6483 / 07984 773 468