Thank you for contacting me about cycling and walking.
I am pleased with the progress that has been made over recent 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 Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, the first ever statutory strategy for cycling and walking, was published last year and identified £1.2 billion of funding which may be invested until 2021.
Through dedicated programmes, 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. This is all on top of over £800 million available for councils and local enterprise partnerships to invest in walking and cycling through devolved funding streams. In addition, since the Strategy was published further funding has been provided for cycling, including sums from the National Productivity Investment Fund and a top-up of the Cycle Ambition Cities funding.
Through this funding, the Government aims to deliver increased safety for both cyclists and walkers across England, better mobility with higher quality cycling facilities and more towns and cities which have cycling and walking at their heart.
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.
I look forward to seeing the continued positive results of this strategy which has the potential to benefit the whole community.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
EDWARD LEIGH MP