Xavier Brice, CEO for Sustrans, the walking and cycling charity, responds to the 2020 Budget announcement.
Following the 2020 Budget announcement today, which allocated £27 billion for main roads and over £1 billion from the Transforming Cities Fund to deliver a range of walking and cycling schemes by 2022-23, Xavier Brice, CEO for Sustrans, the walking and cycling charity said:
“Today’s Budget clarified further allocated funding for the Transforming Cities Fund which will help some local authorities invest in walking and cycling.
However, the Chancellor has not committed to any new funding for active travel. Making it easy for people to choose healthier ways to travel will fight climate change, rising levels of congestion, toxic air, inactivity and social isolation and needs to be a priority for the long term health of our society and economy.
The Government has signalled in the past that it understands the role walking and cycling has to play in tackling these crises. Research shows that at least £6bn is needed to meet the Government’s targets of doubling cycling and increasing walking by 2025.
Many local authorities have comprehensive plans for walking and cycling that are ready to be delivered. But clarification and certainty on dedicated long-term funding is needed as soon as possible for them to deliver these plans, fulfil their potential and meet the Government’s own targets.
The National Infrastructure Strategy and Spending Review will be the opportunity to make this happen. We will continue to make the case for the significant and long-term funding needed in walking and cycling to transform our communities and create happier lives and healthier places for everyone.”
The Budget allocates over £1 billion from the Transforming Cities Fund. This will deliver a range of schemes by 2022-23, including:
- £79 million for Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole, including four new cycle freeways and new bus priority infrastructure
- £161 million for Derby & Nottingham, including over £25 million for bus rapid transit in Derby and over £10 million for a new cycle route between Nottingham, Derby and East Midlands Airport
- £33 million for Leicester, including £8 million for the development of a sustainable transport corridor from St Margaret’s to Birstall
- £198 million for the North East, including £95 million for frequency and reliability improvements across the Tyne and Wear Metro system and to complement the government’s recent £337 million investment in new rolling stock
- £51 million for Plymouth, including £36 million for an iconic new Central Park cycling and walking bridge
- £40 million for Preston City Region, including £25 million for a new station at Cottam Parkway on the Preston-Blackpool line
- £166 million for Sheffield City Region, including a new Bus Rapid Transit link in Barnsley and a new tram stop on the Tram-Train line to Rotherham at Magna
- £57 million for Southampton, including new Rapid Bus links
- £317 million for West Yorkshire, including £39.9 million for Halifax delivering a new bus station, improved rail station and other improvements to complement the revitalisation of the town centre and £30 million for active and sustainable travel across Bradford
- a further £117 million for Portsmouth City Region, Norwich and Stoke-on-Trent subject to further business case approval, which could fund a range of projects, including a multi-modal transport hub at Stoke-on-Trent station