Walking

A new report by MPs has spelled out the urgency of increasing walking and cycling levels.

Now we need the Government to back this up with investment, argues our Director of Policy and Comms, Steve Edwards.

Steve Edwards

The Transport Select Committee's new report on walking and cycling feels like an important moment in the active travel journey.

And as part of the Walking and Cycling Alliance, we have welcomed the urgency with which MPs on the committee have treated the issue - and are now urging the Government to act.

And by act we mean invest.

 

The report highlights the significant difference increases in walking and cycling could make to our activity levels, public health, climate change, air pollution and congestion to name but a few.

But for these benefits to be delivered, the committee has put the ball squarely in the Government's court, urging it to:

  • review the currently unambitious walking target of 300 stages per person per year
  • seek whatever funding is necessary to deliver on these targets.

£5.50

The average return on every £1 invested in walking and cycling

With a Spending Review expected soon, we agree that the Government needs to commit to greater funding of walking and cycling.

The UK's current active travel spend works out at around £400m a year. This is a tiny proportion of overall transport spending (only accounting for around 1.5% in England).

This is despite the fact that investments in cycling and walking on average yield £5.50 of benefits for every £1 spent. This is great value in anyone's book.

It’s now vital that the Government seriously commits to investing in improvements to walking and cycling infrastructure, and in the delivery of targeted behaviour change programmes to ensure everyone has the opportunity to walk and cycle.

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