The Minister for Cycling, Robert Goodwill, announced during his speech at the Cycle City Active City Conference in Newcastle this afternoon that the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy would be commencing.
The Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS) is being taken forward by Government following tireless work by parliamentarians of all parties, the broad coalition of transport and health organisations like Sustrans that lobbied for it and above all - the thousands of people who contacted their MPs.
A CWIS was added to the Infrastructure Act earlier this year obliging, for the first time ever, the Government to set out a long-term plan for boosting walking and cycling. The Government is now committed to setting out plans and funding for achieving this for people, everywhere from the smallest village to the largest city.
As Jason Torrance, our Policy Director says:
“This is a historic and bold step forward by Government that for the first time gives a commitment to a long-term investment strategy for cycling and walking that will extend travel choice, help ease congestion and improve our health and our environment. We look forward to this commitment being matched by a level of investment that will transform streets and communities for people to walk and cycle.’
“With physical inactivity, pollution and congestion increasing across the UK, investing in cycling and walking is an economic silver bullet and government must act across all departments to secure significant investment.”
Even with this welcome news there is still some way to go, but creating a clear framework for coherent and consistent investment is a crucial first step. Guaranteeing long-term funding for transforming our public spaces will take us closer to making walking and cycling a choice for all.