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Government publishes £1.2 billion plan to increase cycling and walking

Cycling and walking investment strategy released.

The government has published its £1.2 billion long-term plan to make cycling and walking the natural choice for shorter journeys.

The government wants cycling and walking to become the norm by 2040 and will target funding at innovative ways to encourage people onto a bike or to use their own two feet for shorter journeys.

Plans include specific objectives to double cycling, reduce cycling accidents and increase the proportion of 5 to 10 year-olds walking to school to 55% by 2025.

The £1.2 billion is allocated as follows:

• £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

In addition, the government is investing an extra:

• £5 million on improving cycle facilities at railway stations
• £1 million on Living Streets’ outreach programmes to encourage children to walk to school
£1 million on Cycling UK’s ‘Big Bike Revival’ scheme which provides free bike maintenance and cycling classes

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:

"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."

Transport Minister Andrew Jones said:

"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."

Joe Irvin, Chief Executive Living Streets said:

"Publication of government’s first ever statutory ‘Cycling and walking investment strategy’ is a historic moment. Making it easier for people to walk their everyday journeys will improve our health, economy and social welfare. We now need to turn good intentions into practical progress and help government step up to the new ambitions."

Paul Tuohy, Chief Executive of Cycling UK:

"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."

Xavier Brice, Chief Executive Sustrans, 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."

Under the Infrastructure Act 2015 , the government is required to set a ‘Cycling and walking investment strategy’ for England. This is the first of a series of shorter term, 5 year strategies to support the long-term ambition to make walking and cycling the natural choice for shorter journeys by 2040.