The previous Coalition Government did good work to support walking and cycling. Spending on cycling more than doubled between 2010 and 2015, which included giving eight UK cities access to £94 million of grants to help them improve their cycling infrastructure. This means that spending per head on cycling in England has trebled since 2010, and is £10 per head in London and the eight Cycle Ambition cities and £6 per head across England, compared to £2 per person in 2010.
This Government will build on that work and as you are aware, for the first time the Government has committed to a Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy. At last autumn’s Spending Review Ministers also re-confirmed their commitment to cycling by investing £300 million directly to 2020. This includes delivering the £114 million Cycle City Ambition scheme in full, a new ‘access’ fund for sustainable travel and providing 1.3 million children with cycling proficiency training through funding for the Bikeability scheme.
While the Government’s role is to create the right policy and funding environment to deliver change, Ministers are also looking to partners to support delivery in local communities across England. There is long-term funding available to local authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships that could be used on cycling through the Integrated Transport block, Highways Maintenance block, the new ‘access’ fund and billions of long-term local transport funding available through the Local Growth Fund. Local Enterprise Partnerships, which are responsible for prioritising the use of Local Growth Fund allocations within their area, are showing that they understand the value and benefits of cycling with around £280 million of the Local Growth Fund currently being spent on cycling.
I hope that the above measures have demonstrated the Government’s long-term commitment to increasing cycling and walking. The consultation on the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy has now closed and the Department for Transport is considering the responses.