Andrew has today signed a joint letter to the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin MP, urging the Government to create a strong, ambitious plan to boost cycling and walking in England.
The Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS) is the perfect chance to make cycling and walking a normal part of everyday life and the natural choice for shorter journeys by 2040 - which is the existing ambition for Government.
The letter comes as the public consultation closes on the draft Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy and urges Government to make the necessary changes to ensure the final Strategy can achieve the Government’s aim when it is published in the summer. It is particularly important that the strategy is successful when cycling levels across most of England outside of London have been relatively static for some time and when we are seeing a long-term decrease in walking rates.
Increasing cycling and walking will help tackle congestion and produce savings for the economy and the NHS through reducing air pollution in cities and increasing levels of physical activity which improves physical and mental health. Cities and towns also become more vibrant through increasing retail footfall, creating stronger communities and decreasing absenteeism through increasing the health of the workforce. It is also possible to enable cycling and walking at comparatively low cost compared to other forms of transport infrastructure making it great value for money.
The letter, which has been signed by a cross-party group of MPs and Peers, explains that a successful CWIS must include:
1. A pathway towards achieving the Government’s ambition for cycling and walking in England. Including identifying the necessary milestones for 2020, 2025 and 2040. More ambitious targets will also be needed both for increasing cycling and walking, and for improving their safety, across England by 2025.
2. A plan to at least meet clear targets for both cycling and walking and other outcomes. This should set out the measures proposed, together with the evidence that these are sufficient to deliver the strategy’s targets and milestones.
3. A package of committed Government investment and other potential funding to deliver the Strategy. This should show the sums allocated by national Government to deliver the Strategy over the current parliamentary term, together with additional funding opportunities from local and non-government sources, and the means by which these will be secured.
4. A framework for assessing performance with Key Performance Indicators and requirements. This should enable greater transparency, accountability and engagement of the Government and sub-national bodies and local authorities, given their important role in delivery.
5. Independent governance that challenges and supports the preparation and delivery of current and future Strategies, in particular through monitoring and assessing performance.