7 February, 2020
The first report back to Parliament on the progress of the statutory Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy says that the UK has “some way to go to deliver the ambition” and that a spending review due later in 2020 will “be the vehicle for identifying both the scale and type of investment required to meet our (Government) aims and targets.”
The report begins with cycling and walking Minister Chris Heaton-Harris outlining how Department for Transport analysis has found the current funding levels are likely to get the UK “around 40%” of the way towards the ambition to double cycling levels by 2025.
Heaton-Harris offers up some statistics within his opening assessment, including the DfT finding that cycling stages have increased by 2% since 2015, which was the most recent low. As shown in the DfT data, cycling levels have been largely flat in the UK since 2002, actually slightly down on those levels in 2018.
“I recognise that we still have some way to go to deliver the ambition set out in the Strategy. The forthcoming multi-year “Spending Review”, expected later in 2020, will be the vehicle for identifying both the scale and type of investment required to meet our aims and targets and for considering any revisions to our existing objectives,” wrote Heaton-Harris.
This is followed by a recognition that “substantial further investment” is required over the next five years, something that the Cycling Minister hopes will come to fruition.
“The £350 million Cycle Infrastructure Fund announced in the Conservative Party Manifesto is only the start of this investment. This will be further built upon by the creation of a long-term programme and budget that dramatically increases investment in cycling and walking, including through the £100 billion of additional infrastructure spending announced for national renewal of roads, rail and other infrastructure that helps to generate growth,” adds Heaton-Harris.