The Government has launched a blueprint to get people wlaking and cycling more.
The new strategy, revealed on Easter Sunday, has a clear ambition that by 2040 getting around by bike or on foot will be the natural choice for shorter journeys, or as part of a longer journey.
It includes ambitions to double cycling, reverse the decline in walking, reduce the rate of cyclists killed or seriously injured and increase the number of children walking to school.
This, the Government says, will be met through providing ‘safe and attractive infrastructure’ to encourage journeys on bike and foot.
The strategy marks a major shift from short-term funding streams for cycling and walking to a more long-term approach. A consultation has been launched today seeking views on the strategy.
Transport Minister Robert Goodwill said: “The Government’s blueprint to encourage more people to cycle and walk will benefit the whole of society by boosting the economy, improving health, cutting congestion and improving air quality. Realising our ambition will take sustained investment in cycling and walking infrastructure.
“That’s why we have committed more than £300m to support cycling and walking over this Parliament and this will increase further when spending on enhancing and maintaining existing infrastructure is taken into account.
“Delivering this long-term plan will require patience, persistence and a change in attitudes – among Government, local bodies, businesses, communities and individuals.
“We cannot afford not to grasp the opportunities available and we are determined to make this country a cycling and walking nation, comparable to the very best in the world.”
Following the end of the consultation on May 23 2016, responses will be assessed and a final strategy published in the summer, when the Government will also issue guidance to local bodies on developing local plans.
Local groups and authorities will be asked to identify and deliver ideas in their areas, with the Government taking a lead on issues such as setting the framework and sharing knowledge and good practice.
A new independent expert committee will be established by October 2016 to advise on the strategy and its implementation.
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