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Urgent call on Government to reverse devastating cuts to active travel budget

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It feels like, given the response to our original story on this, this press release from the Walking and Cycling Alliance is worthy of a share. For what it’s worth, the Department for Transport still hasn’t answered the questions we asked them:

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How’s your local active travel infrastructure?

In an open letter to the Prime Minister, a coalition of charities, professional organisations and businesses representing millions of citizens has urged a reversal of the proposed cuts to active travel funding announced by Transport Secretary, Mark Harper, on 9 March.

Worryingly, the announcement sees the Government backtrack on the level of investment that was promised and that is imperative to deliver on its own statutory Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS2), calling into question its commitment to the strategy and to supporting active travel at this critical time.

The letter confirms that the devastating cuts – which include a two-thirds reduction to promised capital investment in walking, wheeling and cycling infrastructure – make it impossible for the government to meet its 2050 net zero target and its goal for 50% of all journeys in English towns and cities being walked or cycled by 2030.

The coalition, which includes members of the Walking and Cycling Alliance alongside a further 28 organisations and over 118 cycle training providers, has joined together to express its deep concern at the wiping away of vital funds, emphasising that the cuts “are a backward move for the economy, the climate and health” and “leave England lagging far behind other UK nations and London, where per capita investment is many times higher, at a time when we need to be raising the bar everywhere”.

Research by walking, wheeling and cycling charity, Sustrans, estimates that active travel contributed £36.5 billion to the UK economy in 2021, saved 2.5 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions by taking 14.6 million cars off the road, and prevented 138,000 serious long-term health conditions.

Xavier Brice, Chief Executive of walking and cycling charity Sustrans, said: “More than ever, people want and need support to walk, wheel or cycle and we know that these cuts will impact those that would have benefited most, limiting their choice to travel healthily, cheaply and emissions-free.

“In the current economic climate, this funding is more important than ever to help everyone access the things they need without having to rely on a car. That’s why we’re urging the Government to maintain its commitment and reassure us that revenue funding will remain at the levels promised in July 2022’s Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy.”

Signatories to the letter include: 

The Walking and Cycling Alliance  

·       The Bicycle Association, Phillip Darnton OBE, Chairman  

·       Bikeability, Emily Cherry, Executive Director  

·       British Cycling, Caroline Julian, External Affairs Director  

·       Cycling UK, Sarah Mitchell, CEO Ramblers, Ross Maloney, CEO  

·       Living Streets, Steven Edwards, CEO  

·       Sustrans, Xavier Brice, CEO 

While you’re here…

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Hannah Dobson

Managing Editor

I came to Singletrack having decided there must be more to life than meetings. I like all bikes, but especially unusual ones. More than bikes, I like what bikes do. I think that they link people and places; that cycling creates a connection between us and our environment; bikes create communities; deliver freedom; bring joy; and improve fitness. They're environmentally friendly and create friendly environments. I try to write about all these things in the hope that others might discover the joy of bikes too.

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  • Urgent call on Government to reverse devastating cuts to active travel budget
  • ratherbeintobago
    Full Member

    In case anyone hasn’t seen this, the Cycling UK petition is here – get signing/emailing, people!

    racefaceec90
    Full Member

    done

    ratherbeintobago
    Full Member

    @racefaceec90 – Brill – thanks!

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