The Infrastructure Bill has become an Act, and so for the first time the Secretary of State for Transport will be required by law to set out a strategy for cycling and walking infrastructure and importantly the funding provided to meet it.
The Infrastructure Act sets out the government’s ambitions to build a better transport system. Although initially focusing on a Roads Investment Strategy, Sustrans, with a number of other leading transport groups and health organisations, successfully campaigned for the inclusion of a Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy to also be included in the Act to ensure that active travel is considered as a priority area for investment.
This historic win means that for the first time there is a legal obligation on the government to set targets and investment for cycling and walking.
Since our Campaign for Safer Streets was launched in May 2014 we’ve been calling for long term, dedicated funding for walking and cycling, particularly to help children travel to school by foot and bike. To make this happen we have been pushing for an investment strategy for walking and cycling to be enshrined into legislation.
Our supporters took up the mantle, sending emails to their MPs requesting that they put their name to the amendment to the bill. Because of the strength of feeling shown by you, we will see real change in how sustainable transport is recognised in this country.
Jason Torrance, policy director at Sustrans, said:
“This is an historic opportunity to guarantee the long term funding that will extend travel choice, help ease congestion and improve our health and our environment.
“This new law is the result of the hard work of parliamentarians of all parties who have kept this issue on the agenda, the broad coalition of transport and health organisations that lobbied for it and above all the thousands of people who contacted their MPs.”
Sustrans and our partners will continue to campaign. We still have some way to go to make sure that political parties commit to adequate funding ahead of the General Election and beyond. We hope that we can count on your continued support over the coming months.