The Government must provide local authorities with the support and funding needed to make cycling and walking a priority in their areas, a new report says.
The Transport Committee report, published on 23 July, describes the impact of active travel on climate change, air pollution and traffic congestion as ‘huge’.
It calls on the Government to show ‘leadership and ambition’ – revising and increasing its current targets for cycling and walking.
The report also recommends a dedicated funding stream for delivering improvements which will increase levels of walking and cycling.
Lilian Greenwood MP, chair of the Transport Committee, said: “The Government must stand up for active travel. It must show real leadership by setting ambitious targets for cycling – and especially walking.
“It must give local authorities the support and funding they need to engage the public and make active travel a priority in their areas.
“It must do whatever is necessary to persuade more people to get on their bike.”
Action ‘urgently needed’
Responding to the report, an active travel alliance is urging the Government to seriously commit to funding significant improvements in active travel.
The Walking and Cycling Alliance (WACA) says cycling and walking have a pivotal part to play in reducing pollution.
Speaking on behalf of WACA, Paul Tuohy, chief executive of Cycling UK, said: “Investing in safe, convenient and attractive conditions for cycling and walking is a hugely cost-effective way to deliver a wide range of benefits.
“We commend MPs from the select committee for their diligence in understanding the urgency of this issue.”
WACA was established in 2018 and is made-up of six organisations: British Cycling, Cycling UK, Living Streets, Sustrans , The Bicycle Association and The Ramblers.