Reductions in cash for local transport announced today in the Government’s Spending Review are very worrying, says the national charity for everyday walking, Living Streets. 

While the Chancellor has committed to the biggest road-building programme since the seventies, the future of sustainable local transport - such as walking and cycling - still hangs in the balance. All that has been announced so far from the Department for Transport is a confirmation that there will £20m a year for the next four years for sustainable transport. 

The Government committed earlier this year to a Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS), to double cycling and reverse the decline in children walking to school. Today the Chancellor has announced £300m for cycling but this includes some existing commitments and is spread over a four-year period.

In contrast, spending on sustainable transport in 2015/16 alone included £100m on capital investment and £78m on revenue. This means it is hard to see how these targets can be achieved.

Joe Irvin, Living Streets Chief Executive, says:
“Today’s announcement from the Chancellor has put support for walking and cycling in jeopardy.
“While mega-road schemes are protected, the Chancellor has little to say on how the Government’s ambitions for cycling and walking will be delivered. We understand the Government is making cuts in many departments, but the onus is now on the Department for Transport.

It’s crucial that the DfT allocates significant funding from within its own resources to active travel, which surely answers so many of the nation’s problems – ranging from traffic congestion, to poor air quality, to our many fading high streets, to the health crisis caused by inactivity