Figures highlight ‘inequality’ of local active travel funding

07.45 | 7 May 2021 |

Research by Cycling UK shows that some councils in England are investing 170 times more per head on active travel than others.

The figures, obtained by the cycling charity through Freedom of Information requests, detail spending on active travel schemes from both core funding and one-off bids and grants.

They show that in 2020-21, the average spend across the 59 councils that responded was £7.65 per head.

Five local authorities (Kingston upon Thames, Salford, Waltham Forest, Stockport and Leicester City) spent or estimated spending more than £20 per head, while three (Redcar and Cleveland, Telford and Wrekin, and Hillingdon) reported figures of less than £1 per head.

Cycling UK – who published the figures ahead of the local elections on 6 May – says ‘it’s time for an end to the inequality’.

Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s head of campaigns, said: “Spending money on cycling and walking is not about party politics, it is about improving quality of life for everyone. 

“If you look at who controls the four councils that devoted most core funding to active travel, you find all three main political parties represented.

“What these figures show is that while some councils are doing a good job of investing in active travel schemes, both from their own funds and through seeking grants, other parts of the country risk being left behind. 

“We need more equality in active travel, which is why our local election manifesto asks every local authority in England to move up the gears and invest more in cycling and walking.”



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