The Government has announced a £2billion package to transform cycling and walking, supporting its ambition to double cycling and increase walking by 2025.
The move towards walking and cycling is not only to help manage social distancing during the COVID outbreak, but also to help create a lasting legacy that transforms the urban realm for good – reducing congestion, delivering immediate and lasting health benefits, improving air quality and helping the UK to meet its carbon obligations.
The document sets a clear vision, and a 33-point action plan, to drive this radical transformation and fully realise the benefits of walking and cycling.
Transforming infrastructure through building thousands of miles of protected cycle routes in towns and cities; setting higher standards for cycling infrastructure, to be overseen by a new inspectorate; and improving the National Cycle Network;
Boosting investment by creating a long-term cycling and walking programme and budget to ensure a guaranteed pipeline of funding;
Making streets safer by consulting to strengthen the Highway Code to better protect pedestrians and cyclists; improving legal protections for vulnerable road users; raising safety standards on lorries; working with the police and retailers to tackle bike theft; and putting in place more "school streets" to reduce traffic by schools;
Improving air quality and reducing traffic by creating more low traffic neighbourhoods to reduce rat running; intensive funding of 12 new areas to become more cycle and pedestrian friendly, known as ‘Mini Hollands’; and creating at least one zero-emission transport city centre;
Helping people live healthier lives by piloting a new approach in selected places with poor health rates to encourage GPs to prescribe cycling, with patients able to access bikes through their local surgery;
Increasing access to e-bikes by setting up a new national e-bike programme, to help those who are older, have to travel long distances or are less fit to take up cycling.
In addition to this, the Government is consulting on changes to the Highway Code to make roads safer for cyclists and pedestrians. To contribute to the consultation please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/review-of-the-highway-code-to-improve-road-safety-for-cyclists-pedestrians-and-horse-riders
Justin Tomlinson said: “There are so many benefits to walking and cycling, both on health and the environment. I am delighted that the Government is investing in this and looking at ways to encouraging cycling and walking, as well as making it safer.”