The government has published details of a £1.2bn long-term plan designed to make cycling and walking ‘the natural choice for shorter journeys’.
Published today (21 April), the first statutory cycling and walking investment strategy includes £50m to provide ‘cycling proficiency’ training to a further 1.3m children.
The strategy include specific objectives to double cycling, reduce cycling collisions and casualties and increase the proportion of 5 to 10 year-olds walking to school to 55% by 2025.
The strategy also includes £101m to improve cycling infrastructure and expand cycle routes between city centres, local communities, and key employment and retail sites.
The government wants cycling and walking to become ‘the norm’ by 2040, and says it will target funding at ‘innovative ways to encourage people onto a bike or to use their own two feet for shorter journeys’.
Living Streets will receive £1m to support its outreach programmes to encourage children to walk to school, with similar funding also provided for Cycling UK’s ‘Big Bike Revival’ scheme which provides free bike maintenance and cycling classes.
Other funding allocations include:
- £85m to make improvements to 200 sections of roads for cyclists
- £80m for safety and awareness training for cyclists, extra secure cycle storage, bike repair, maintenance courses and road safety measures
- £389.5m for councils to invest in walking and cycling schemes
- £476.4m from local growth funding to support walking and cycling
Chris Grayling, transport secretary, 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.”
Andrew Jones, transport minister, added: “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.”