Funding for infrastructure upgrades, changes to The Highway Code and new requirements to ensure that active travel schemes’ effects are properly assessed.
- Government increases cycling and walking budget announced at the Spending Review to £338 million.
- The package includes funding to build hundreds of miles of high-quality cycle lanes and deliver walking schemes as well as changes to The Highway Code.
- The package is part of government’s commitment to build back greener from pandemic.
The active travel boom seen throughout the pandemic will continue to thrive thanks to a £338 million package to boost cycling and walking across the country, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced today (30 July 2021).
Infrastructure upgrades, changes to The Highway Code and new requirements to ensure that active travel schemes’ effects are properly assessed are among the raft of measures included in the Summer of Cycling and Walking document published today.
It comes after last year saw cycling rise more than in the previous 20 years put together, with the number of miles cycled on British roads rocketing by 45.7% to 5 billion.
Independent opinion polling and new research also published by the DfT shows that active travel schemes are supported, on average, by a ratio of two-to-one.
As the UK prepares to host COP26 later this year, these initiatives will play a key role in the government’s drive to build back greener from the pandemic and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:
Millions of us have found over the past year how cycling and walking are great ways to stay fit, ease congestion on the roads and do your bit for the environment. As we build back greener from the pandemic, we’re determined to keep that trend going by making active travel easier and safer for everyone.
This £338 million package marks the start of what promises to be a great summer of cycling and walking, enabling more people to make those sustainable travel choices that make our air cleaner and cities greener.
This announcement builds on the Prime Minister’s £2 billion gear change cycling and walking programme which was announced exactly one year ago.
The £338 million is a 30% increase to the £257 million announced for active travel in last year’s spending review. This funding will help see the construction of hundreds of miles of new high-quality cycle lanes and aid the delivery of new schemes to encourage walking. This will include the delivery of improvements across the National Cycle Network.
And to enhance safety for cyclists and pedestrians, a new version of the Highway Code will be published next year, with updates including:
- a hierarchy of road users that ensures road users who can do the greatest harm have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger they may pose to others
- strengthened pedestrian priority on pavements and when crossing or waiting to cross the road
- guidance on safe passing distances and speeds and ensuring that cyclists have priority at junctions when travelling straight ahead