In an open letter to the Prime Minister, we're joining a coalition of charities, professional organisations and businesses representing millions of citizens to demand a reversal of the proposed cuts to active travel funding announced by Transport Secretary, Mark Harper.
Photo: Transport for Greater Manchester
Worryingly, the announcement sees the Government backtrack on the level of investment that was promised.
And this investment is imperative to deliver on the Government's own statutory Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS2), calling into question its commitment to the strategy and to supporting active travel at this critical time.
The letter confirms that the devastating cuts - which include a two-thirds reduction to promised capital investment in walking, wheeling and cycling infrastructure - make it impossible for the government to meet its 2050 net-zero targets.
And it makes it impossible to reach its goal of 50% of all journeys in English towns and cities being walked or cycled by 2030.
A backward move for the economy, the climate and health
The coalition includes members of the Walking and Cycling Alliance alongside a further 28 organisations and over 118 cycle training providers.
We have joined together to express our deep concern at the wiping away of vital funds.
We are emphasising that the cuts “are a backward move for the economy, the climate and health” and “leave England lagging far behind other UK nations and London, where per capita investment is many times higher, at a time when we need to be raising the bar everywhere”.
Our research estimates that active travel contributed £36.5 billion to the UK economy in 2021.
It saved 2.5 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions by taking 14.6 million cars off the road.
And it has prevented 138,000 serious long-term health conditions.
Cuts will impact those that would have benefited most
Xavier Brice, Sustrans Chief Executive said:
"More than ever, people want and need support to walk, wheel or cycle and we know that these cuts will impact those that would have benefited most, limiting their choice to travel healthily, cheaply and emissions-free.
"In the current economic climate, this funding is more important than ever to help everyone access the things they need without having to rely on a car.
"That’s why we’re urging the Government to maintain its commitment and reassure us that revenue funding will remain at the levels promised in July 2022’s Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy."