Ministers have published a new Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS) setting out £1.2bn of funding, including nearly £900m that they expect councils and Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to spend over the next five years.
The Government said it wants cycling and walking to become the norm by 2040 through better safety, better mobility and better streets.
The strategy includes specific objectives to double cycling and reduce cycling accidents, and a target to increase the proportion of five to 10 year-olds walking to school to 55% by 2025.
It states that a total of £1,182m ‘may be invested in cycling and walking in the next five years’, acknowledging that ‘Many of the decisions on the allocation of these funds will be made by the relevant local body’.
This adds to the £300m in the draft strategy published last year with ‘£389.5 million for councils to invest in walking and cycling schemes’ and ‘£476.4 million from local growth funding to support walking and cycling’.
Transport secretary Chris Grayling said: ‘We have already tripled spending on cycling since 2010 and we are now publishing a long-term investment plan because we are absolutely committed to increasing levels of cycling and walking.’
Cycling charities including Cycling UK welcomed the strategy, although its policy director, Roger Geffen, told Transport Network that the ‘expectation’ that councils and LEPs would spend nearly £900m, was a key assumption.
Transport secretary Chris Grayling
He said: ‘We are now really keen to work with local authorities and LEPs to help and encourage that funding and strengthen this over time and make sure it’s spent on really high quality cycling infrastructure.'
Mr Geffen added ‘This is the time to look to the opportunities and the positive vision set out in the CWIS.’
He cited the ambition to make cycling and walking the normal choices for short journeys by 2040, the publication of guidance for local authorities on local cycling and walking infrastructure plans and the ‘Propensity to Cycle’ tool, which is also designed to assist councils with local plans.
Objectives in the strategy are by 2020 to:
- increase cycling activity, where cycling activity is measured as the estimated total number of cycle stages made
- increase walking activity, where walking activity is measured as the total number of walking stages per person
- reduce the rate of cyclists killed or seriously injured on England’s roads, measured as the number of fatalities and serious injuries per billion miles cycled
- increase the percentage of children aged five to 10 who usually walk to school
The strategy aims by 2025:
- to double cycling, from 0.8 billion stages in 2013 to 1.6 billion stages in 2025,
- to increase walking activity to 300 stages per person per year
It also sets a 2025 target to increase the percentage of children aged five to 10 who usually walk to school from 49% in 2014 to 55% in 2025.