House of Commons Debate on active travel 9 July 2019

Councils support active travel. Getting people to use more active travel will improve congestion, air quality and obesity rates, which in turn have substantial benefits such as for local economies, education and taxpayers.


KEY MESSAGES 

  • Councils support active travel. Getting people to use more active travel will improve congestion, air quality and obesity rates, which in turn have substantial benefits such as for local economies, education and taxpayers. 
  • The Government’s overall support for active travel is welcome and has seen some results over the past couple of decades. The most powerful way the Government could improve local active travel infrastructure is to allow councils to get on with delivering it.
  • There has been a 54 per cent increase in the distance travelled by bicycle since 2002, due to sustained investment in cycling infrastructure and other measures, especially in big cities. Increases in the number of people cycling have been inconsistent across the country, as has the Government’s approach to funding. 
  • The Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS) has yielded impressive results in some cities. Councils would be best placed to act on this agenda if they were given more freedom and funding certainty to pursue their own transport programmes. 
  • All elements of government policy should support the ambition of getting more travel by active means. There must be closer coordination between separate departmental policies which impact local health and wellbeing. 
  • The next Spending Review will be make or break for some local transport services. As our recent survey shows, a third of councils fear they will run out of money for legal duties by 2022/23, unless urgent additional funding arrives.

Read the full briefing:
House of Commons Debate on active travel 9 July 2019