We made great progress on cycling in the last Government, and spend on cycling was more than doubled between 2010 and 2015 from £2 per person to £6 per person in England in 2015-16. We want to build on these achievements and that’s why we have committed over £300 million to support cycling and walking over this Parliament. We will invest £50 million to provide a further 1.3 million children with cycling proficiency training through the Bikeability scheme, £100 million for Highways England to make improvements to 200 sections of the road network in England for cyclists and £101 million to deliver the Cycle City Ambition scheme in full. If we can increase levels of walking and cycling, the benefits are substantial. For people, it means cheaper travel and better health. For businesses, it means increased productivity and increased footfall in shops. And for society as a whole it means lower congestion, better air quality, and vibrant, attractive places and communities.
Those benefits explain the Government’s ambition for walking and cycling in England. We will double cycling activity by 2025, and reduce each year the rate of cyclists killed or seriously injured on English roads. We will reverse the decline in walking that we have seen over the last few years. For that to happen, cycling and walking should become the natural choice for shorter journeys or as part of a longer journey. Cycling and walking should become safer, and, importantly, be perceived to be safe. In short, walking and cycling should be easy, normal and enjoyable.
We cannot achieve these changes alone. Our ambition will be delivered only if we work with local government, businesses, charities, and the public – the same approach taken in other nations, such as the Netherlands. We want to support local delivery partners to do what they do best, identify and deliver individual and tailored interventions fit for their own local areas; with the Government taking a lead on issues which require a national approach, such as setting the framework and sharing knowledge and good practice.
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