Alliance Reaction to Government’s Cycling and Walking Strategy

The Government on Friday released its long-awaited Cycling and Walking Strategy which outlines how it will make cycling and walking ‘the natural choice for shorter journeys’.

The Government aims, by 2025, to have:

· Increased the number of people cycling and walking;

· Reduced the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured on roads;

· Increased the percentage of children aged 5 to 10 that walk to school from 49% to 55%.

The strategy explains how it will spend the £1.2 billion the Government has set aside to fund innovative ways of achieving the above aims. Plans include:

· £50 million to provide cycling proficiency training for 1.3 million children;

· £101 million to improve cycling infrastructure and expand cycle routes between city centres, local communities and key employment and retail sites;

· £85 million to make improvements to 20 sections of the road for cyclists;

· £389 million to local authorities to invest in walking and cycling schemes in their local areas;

· An extra £476.4 million from local growth funding to support walking and cycling schemes.

In addition, the Government will be investing an extra £5 million on improving cycle facilities at railway stations, as well as providing £1 million of funding to both Living Streets’ Walk to School project and Cycling UK’s ‘Big Bike Revival’ scheme.

The strategy sets out how Government will measure the performance of the strategy by covering outputs and activities, as well as outcomes. This will help the Government understand the broader picture underpinning performance in order to better inform future decisions.

The Government will also recruit an Expert Committee, made up of experts from the cycling, walking and business sectors, to advise on delivering the first phase of the strategy.

Emma Boggis, Chief Executive of the Sport and Recreation Alliance, said:

“I warmly welcome the Government’s publication of the Cycling and Walking Strategy and its investment of £1.2 billion to help get more people cycling and walking to get active. Grassroots sport and physical activity are at the heart of an active nation and our new strategy identifies how we intend to work with our members and the wider sector to make sure children and young people have more access to sport and recreation.

"It is particularly good to see the Government demonstrating their commitment to a cross-departmental approach to reducing physical inactivity and recognising that cycling and walking isn’t just an issue relevant to the Department for Transport."