Sustrans CEO, Xavier Brice responds to the recent Spending Review and the publication of the National Infrastructure Strategy.
Responding to today’s Spending Review and the publication of the National Infrastructure Strategy, Our Chief Executive, Xavier Brice said:
"Today’s Spending Review put aside a welcome £257m for walking and cycling in 2021/22 alongside more funding for local road maintenance.
"This can be used to create better places for walking and cycling and to connect communities to the things they need.
"It is a fraction of the £2 billion promised by the Government over this parliamentary term.
"And we look forward to the funding increasing over the coming years to help us reach net-zero, tackle physical inactivity, reduce air pollution and create more liveable towns and cities.
Investment should focus on making it easier for people to walk and cycle their everyday journeys
"There is a wider concerning disconnect between the Government’s aims and ambitions and the policies it is putting in place.
"Aspiring to achieve a truly greener future and reach net-zero is not possible alongside a spending commitment to the greatest road-building programme ever which will drive up demand for car use and carbon emissions – largely negating any carbon benefits from a switch to electric vehicles.
"Instead, more investment should be targeted at helping people make fewer journeys by car.
We need to tackle issues of inequality and equity
"Sustrans is pleased to see the new £4 billion ‘Levelling Up Fund’.
"But it is important that this is used to tackle the real issues of equality and equity between communities, and is invested in making vibrant highstreets and town centres, including sustainable and affordable travel options.
"Allowing this funding to be invested in new bypasses or road schemes will only increase car use and do little to tackle these problems.
Long-term investment in 20-minute neighbourhoods
"Fundamentally in the longer term, we will need to build on the £2bn allocated to walking and cycling.
"And we need to ensure that changes to the planning system deliver more 20-Minute Neighbourhoods, where everyday services can be reached easily and safely in a twenty-minute return walking trip."
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Take a look at what local businesses and residents think of the recent changes made to make walking and cycling easier in their area in our Streets for everyone videos.