Walking and cycling recognised as tackling major issues
A new report from the Transport Select Committee says increased levels of walking and cycling can help combat inactivity, climate change, air pollution and traffic congestion and urges policy makers to give it the attention it deserves.
In Active Travel: increasing levels of walking and cycling in England, the Transport Committee calls for leadership from Government through more ambitious targets and increased funding.
MPs recommend the Government revises its Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy as current targets for cycling and particularly walking, are not ambitious enough. There is also a case for the Government to set targets and a strategy for enabling people to get out of their cars and make the switch to active travel for short trips or as part of a longer journey.
The report says the £2 billion which the Government has said will be spent on active travel in this Parliament is welcome but equates to £400 million a year. This is a tiny sum compared with spending on other areas of transport, just 1.5% of total Government transport spending. The Committee recommends a dedicated funding stream for delivering improvements which will increase levels of walking and cycling and increased total funding for active travel.
The Committee on Climate Change has identified changing people's mode of travel choice from cars to walking and cycling is one way of reducing their carbon footprints and help meet UK and global climate goals. The Committee’s Report calls on Government to act on this by giving active travel the priority it deserves.