PM announces details of Britain’s £2 billion cycling and walking plan
Posted: 28 July 2020 | Sam Mehmet (Intelligent Transport)
The Prime Minister has kickstarted Britain’s ‘cycling and walking revolution,’ with plans including ‘cycling prescriptions’ and free training, higher cycling infrastructure standards and a national e-bike programme.
Thousands of miles of new protected bike lanes, cycle training for everyone and bikes available on ‘prescription’ will be rolled out under new plans to overhaul cycling and walking in England launched by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The new plans aim to build on the increase in the number of people cycling during the pandemic and set out a comprehensive, long term vision to increase active travel and embed the benefits of walking and cycling into everyday life.
Johnson said: “From helping people get fit and healthy and lowering their risk of illness, to improving air quality and cutting congestion, cycling and walking have a huge role to play in tackling some of the biggest health and environmental challenges that we face.
“But to build a healthier, more active nation, we need the right infrastructure, training and support in place to give people the confidence to travel on two wheels.
“That’s why now is the time to shift gears and press ahead with our biggest and boldest plans yet to boost active travel – so that everyone can feel the transformative benefits of cycling.”
Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, added: “We’ve got a once in a lifetime opportunity to create a shift in attitudes for generations to come, and get more people choosing to cycle or walk as part of their daily routine.
“The measures we’ve set out today in this revolutionary plan will do just that. No matter your age, how far you’re travelling, or your current confidence on a bike – there are plans to help and support you.
“By helping to fix your bike – or get an electrically powered one; by increasing storage space at stations, on trains and buses; and by introducing more ways to keep pedestrians and cyclists safe, we’re making it easier than ever to make active travel part of your daily life, and leading England to become a great cycling nation.”
The commitments in the plan, which will be funded by the £2 billion of new funding announced earlier this year for walking and cycling, include:
- To encourage people to continue to take up cycling, cycle training will be made available for every child and adult who wants it, accessible through schools, local authorities or direct from cycle training schemes
- More cycle racks will be installed at transport hubs, town and city centres and public buildings
- Setting higher standards for cycling infrastructure
- Funding will go towards new bike hangars and on street storage for people who don’t have space to keep a bike at home
- Boosting investment by creating a long term cycling programme and budget to ensure a guaranteed pipeline of funding
- Making streets safer by consulting to strengthen the Highway Code to better protect pedestrians and cyclists
- Supporting local authorities by empowering them to crack down on traffic offences
- Improving air quality and reducing traffic by creating more low traffic neighbourhoods; intensive funding of 12 new areas to become more cycle friendly, known as ‘Mini Hollands’; and creating at least one zero-emission transport city centre
- Piloting a new approach in selected places with poor health rates to encourage GPs to prescribe cycling, with patients able to access bikes through their local surgery
- Increasing access to e-bikes by setting up a new national e-bike programme, to help those who are older, have to travel long distances or are less fit to take up cycling.
Alongside the launch of the strategy, the first lot of bike repair vouchers worth £50 will be released to the public in a pilot scheme to encourage thousands of people get back into cycling.