Thank you for contacting me about cycling and walking.
I am pleased with the progress that has been made over the past six years in encouraging cycling and walking. Cycling rates have increased in areas where dedicated funding has been made available, and spending on cycling has risen from around £2 per person in 2010 to £6 per person in England in 2016-17. I want to see these successes built on, and I want to see walking and cycling the natural choices for shorter journeys, or as part of a longer journey.
To help achieve this, the Department for Transport’s Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy has made over £1 billion of funding available to local bodies that may be invested in cycling and walking over the next five years.
Ministers will invest £50 million to provide a further 1.3 million children with cycling proficiency training through the Bikeability scheme, £101 million to deliver the Cycle City Ambition scheme in full, £85 million for Highways England to make improvements to 200 sections of the road network in England for cyclists, and £80 million for local cycling and walking schemes through the Access Fund.
For too long, cycling has been seen as a niche activity, rather than a normal activity for all. If we can increase levels of walking and cycling, the benefits are substantial. For people, it means cheaper travel and better health. For businesses, it means increased productivity and increased footfall in shops. And for society as a whole it means lower congestion, better air quality, and vibrant, attractive places and communities.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
EDWARD LEIGH MP