The UK Government has announced a devastating £200m cut to the active travel budget in England. Here, in a joint statement alongside organisations representing the Walking and Cycling Alliance and Women in Transport, we respond to this news.
Photo: Transport for Greater Manchester
Yesterday, 9 March 2023, the UK Government announced a devastating £200m cut to the active travel budget in England.
This sets us on the completely wrong path for society, the economy and the environment.
And it sees the government backtrack on its previous pledges for active travel investment.
Vital active travel budgets wiped away in England
In a joint statement, Sustrans, alongside organisations representing the Walking and Cycling Alliance and Women in Transport, said:
"It is heartbreaking to see vital active travel budgets wiped away in England, at the exact time when they are most essential to UK economic, social and environmental prospects.
"It simply doesn’t make sense to withdraw investment in active travel at this time, particularly as it contributed £36.5 billion to the UK economy in 2021.
"Representing a two-thirds cut to promised capital investment in safe infrastructure for walking, wheeling and cycling, these cuts are a backward move for active travel and will counteract the tremendous progress we’ve seen in recent years.
"These cuts will leave England lagging far behind other UK nations and London, at a time when we need to be raising the bar everywhere.
"Promised Government targets of 50% of all journeys in English towns and cities being walked or cycled by 2030, and for the UK to be Net Zero by 2050, are made impossible by these cuts.
"People walking, wheeling and cycling take 14.6 million cars off the road, saving 2.5 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year.
"More than ever, people want and need support to walk, wheel and cycle, and these cuts will impact those that would have benefited most, limiting our choice to travel healthily, cheaply and emissions-free."
We’re now working at pace to understand the impacts of this announcement on our work and will continue to provide updates as further clarity is established.
The Walking and Cycling Alliance includes:
- Bicycle Association
- British Cycling
- Cycling UK
- Living Streets
- and Sustrans.
In the UK, we're facing the worst cost of living crisis in many years. Find out how we're calling on the UK Government to continue its multi-year investment in walking, wheeling and cycling.