The commitment to a Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy came about when multiple NGOs from transport, environmental and health backgrounds joined together behind a CPRE idea to amend the Infrastructure Act to include this.
The idea was initially refused by Government, but after thousands of people wrote to their MPs to demand it, the amendment was agreed at the start of 2015
Why we need a Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy
There really are so many reasons why an ambitious Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy will be good for England.
Walking and cycling already:
- Improve our health
- Support thousands of jobs
- Tackle air pollution that kills 25,000 people a year in England
- Ease congestion, lessening the pressure to build roads across England’s countryside.
But with proper funding and long term ambition these benefits could be spread to more and more people.
Figures now show that after a few years of cycling rates going up modestly they have now stagnated. England is also still well behind most other countries in Europe.
This is why we need to make sure the Government delivers well-funded investment strategies for cycling and walking for five year periods.
A truly national strategy
There were two main reasons why we successfully campaigned for a Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy:
- To end stop-start funding for cycling and walking and replace it with consistent and reliable revenue
- To ensure that cycling and walking are viable and attractive across England and across all groups of people
Funding is running out
Conditions on so many of our roads are completely unacceptable for cycling and walking. Spending on cycling is just £2 for each person in England outside London, when the target is a minimum of £10.
And the Government keeps throwing up houses on the edges of towns where it’s virtually impossible to walk into town. As a result, so many of our market towns and villages are being choked by ever more polluting cars.
A future for cycling and walking
We need to invest in cycling and walking at the same time as our national transport infrastructure. Not doing so makes as little sense as investing in superfast broadband but leaving out the last mile connections to homes and businesses. If we are to have green growth balanced across the country, rural areas need this investment as much as cities.
The first Strategy offers a chance to steer England towards becoming a cycling and walking nation. CPRE will keep campaigning to make sure this is England’s direction of travel.