Over the past few years, we’ve started making our cities and towns more liveable for everyone.
But the recently announced cuts to funding for walking, wheeling and cycling puts the brakes on that progress.
We must not go backwards.
Will you tell your MP that their constituents care about improving their area?
Our five-step guide makes it easy to get your MP’s attention.
It shouldn’t take you long, but it could make a big difference to your area.
Step 1: Find out who your MP is
If you don't already know, the first step is to find out who your MP is and what their contact details are.
You can find all this information on the Members of Parliament website.
All you need is your postcode.
Step 2: Get across the basics
It's really important that your letter is clear, so your MP understands what the problem is.
Here are the headlines:
- A two-thirds cut to active travel budgets could mean cancelled cycle paths and more dangerous pavements.
- This will mean more air pollution and higher carbon emissions.
- It’s a backwards step which makes no sense.
And here’s some background:
- In a written statement on 9 March, the Transport Secretary announced a two-thirds cut to promised investment in infrastructure for walking, wheeling and cycling.
- Budgets have been slashed to only £100 million across the next two years.
Step 3: Make it personal and local
Tell your MP how these cuts will affect you and your family.
Here are a few things you could write about:
- You may want to describe how active travel is important for you and your family.
- What do you love about where you live? What shops, cafés or parks do you walk, wheel or cycle to?
- Is there anything that makes it easy for you to get there? You might want to write about a fantastic cycle path, pedestrianised street or walking trail that helps you get where you need to go.
- What would help you walk and cycle more in your area?
- Are there any roads where the pavement is too narrow, road crossings are difficult or traffic makes cycling dangerous?
Step 4: Back your letter up with evidence
We all know active travel is good for health, wellbeing and the planet.
But there are even more benefits that you can include in your letter to make your MP take notice.
Here are some of our favourite statistics:
- The Government has a target for 50% of all journeys in English towns and cities to be walked or cycled by 2030. These cuts will make this ambition impossible.
- These cuts will also leave England lagging far behind other UK nations and London, where investment per person is many times higher.
- Sustrans found that active travel contributed £36.5 billion to the UK economy in 2021.
Step 5: End your letter with something they won't forget
Here are some ways you can sign off your letter in a way that really grabs your MP's attention:
- Ask your MP what else they’ll do to support active travel.
- You could suggest that they write to the Secretary of State for Transport and ask him to reverse the cut.
- Be sure to include your full address so they can see you’re their constituent.
Thanks for adding your voice to our campaign.
Together, we can show that people want their streets, towns and cities to be nicer places to live, work, walk, wheel and cycle.
Could you encourage others to do the same?
Maybe share your letter on your street WhatsApp group.
And don't forget to tag @sustrans across social media when sharing a photo showing you posting your letter.