Minister calls for an increase in cycling and walking
Transport minister Robert Goodwill has announced details of a new government strategy which aims to encourage more walking and cycling.
The blueprint, launched on Sunday (27 March), ‘has a clear ambition’ that by 2040 getting around by bike or on foot will be the natural choice for shorter journeys, or as part of a longer journey.
At the same time, an open consultation on the strategy was launched as the government seeks public opinion on how it should operate. The consultation will run until 23 May with the final strategy published in summer 2016.
The 2014 National Travel Survey revealed that just 3% of average distance travelled by a person was by foot, with an even lower 1% on bike.
However, the new strategy aims to double cycling and reverse the decline in walking while also reducing the rate of cyclists killed or seriously injured and increasing the number of children walking to school.
The government says that these targets will be met by providing safe and attractive infrastructure to encourage journeys on bike and foot.
Robert Goodwill, transport minister, said: “The government’s blueprint to encourage more people to cycle and walk will benefit the whole of society by boosting the economy, improving health, cutting congestion and improving air quality.
“Realising our ambition will take sustained investment in cycling and walking infrastructure. That’s why we have committed over £300m to support cycling and walking over this Parliament and this will increase further when spending on enhancing and maintaining existing infrastructure is taken into account.
“Delivering this long term plan will require patience, persistence and a change in attitudes – amongst government, local bodies, businesses, communities and individuals. We cannot afford not to grasp the opportunities available and we are determined to make this country a cycling and walking nation, comparable to the very best in the world.”
Alongside the draft strategy, the DfT has published a number of case studies that it says illustrate good practice taken by local authorities when designing and implementing cycling infrastructure.