Activists want 5% of transport spending to go on active travel, as happens in Scotland
Wed 23 Jan 2019
It is possible a million or more people have cycled past the Houses of Parliament in the past 12 months, but you could be forgiven for thinking this has gone unnoticed by those on the other side of the black railings.
On Wednesday, as the cycle superhighway through Parliament Square whisked commuters to work, inside, the transport select committee heard the government would miss its cycling target. It is predicted to achieve just a third of the 800m hoped-for extra cycling trips by 2025, with much of that predicted growth restricted to London.
Three walking and cycling charities told the committee that, of three targets set as part of the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS) in 2015, only the goal that people will walk 300 times each a year is certain to be met. The third target, for 55% of children aged three to 10 to walk to school, also looks increasingly out of reach; last year the number doing so dropped two percentage points to 51%.
Active travel is the latest government policy failure relating to providing alternatives to, or curbing the dominance of motor traffic. It was told last week it was on track to miss its legally binding carbon targets and, was still facing action over its unlawfully bad plans to tackle air pollution.
Representatives from Cycling UK, the walking charity Living Streets and the sustainable transport charity Sustrans were united on Wednesday in calling for England to follow Scotland and allocate 5% of transport spending to active travel, with a view to increasing it to 10% in future.