Govt admits cycle funding needs to double


The Government has conceded that it will need to double funding per head in England if it is to reach its cycling target by 2025.

The Department for Transport (DfT) suggested it could widely reform its active travel strategy through Spending Review negotiations, having failed to make much progress on boosting cycling and waling figures.

The Government’s Cycling and Walking Investment strategy sets an ‘aim’ of doubling cycling from 800 million ‘stages’ in 2013 to 1.6 billion in 2025.


However the 2017 National Travel Survey (NTS) indicated that by 2017 there were only 991 million.

Decisions on future funding for cycling and walking could be made in the forthcoming multi-year Spending Review, due in 2020, as part of developing the next phase of the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy post 2020/21 (CWIS 2).

In response to a Transport Select Committee report on the issue, the DfT said it 'intends to develop an integrated, long-term, capital and revenue fund for local authorities as a successor to the current Access Fund (for behaviour change) and Cycle Ambition Cities programme (for capital investment)'.

'Interim results from the investment models indicate that annual investment per head in England is likely to need to at least double if the cycling aim is to be achieved in 2025,' it added.

A cross-Whitehall approach is being considered including potential joint programme management, co-located and/or virtual joint teams, and/or joint delivery of complementary initiatives in local areas.

The DfT also revealed that it will shortly update Local Transport Note 2/08 - the core guidance to local authorities on cycling infrastructure design.

'Much has been learned since its publication in 2008 and the Department will publish an updated version shortly. This has been informed by international design guidance and guidance within the UK including the London Design Standards and Active Travel Design Guidance in Wales.'

Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans

LCWIPs look set to become a core element of future cycling and waling delivery.

DfT will shortly commission an evaluation study of the LCWIP support package that has been piloted with 46 local authorities having received positive initial feedback from councils.

Technical guidance provided on the LCWIP process has been well received and 'most if not all authorities are making good use of the Propensity to Cycle Tool to identify key routes and networks'.

Under the Spending Review ministers will consider expanding the programme. A key ambition is to facilitate development of pipeline projects with a clear route from network design, through feasibility studies and business case development, to construction of schemes.

The DfT is already working with a consortium of expert organisations including Sustrans, Living Streets and Cycling UK) to deliver a comprehensive programme of strategic support to local authorities in order to address specific barriers to the delivery of LCWIPs.

The aim is to help authorities make the case for investment, including advice on presenting the economic evidence, drawing on case studies, as well as stakeholder mapping to improve consultation with local communities.

The Department has also agreed to create a new Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Group that will advise DfT and highway authorities on good practice and identify and help disseminate high quality local guidance and exemplar projects.

Future research

Identified areas of future research include updating DfT's evidence for the journey quality benefits of segregated cycle lanes, broadening the range of health impacts which can be appraised, and providing guidance to forecast the increased uptake in cycling and walking from proposed interventions.

The Active Mode Appraisal Toolkit to currently being reviewed to ensure it is fit for purpose, to develop more comprehensive user guidance to support the toolkit, and potentially to broaden the range of impacts it captures.

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