07.02.20

Government announces £22m investment into active travel

The government has published a number of measures to encourage people to opt for cycling and walking, including highlighting positive outcomes of successful programmes, extension of the Access Fund and plans of cycle training for every child in England.

Plans have been revealed to invest £22m over the next year into active travel across the country, with a main focus on cycling and walking programmes.

Cycling Minister, Chris Heaton-Harris has today (Feb 7) announced that all children In England will be taught cycling as it expands its Bikeability training programme.

Since the launch of the scheme in 2006, more than three million children have taken part in the Bikeability scheme and more than 80% of children ages between eight and ten own a bike.

Greater Manchester and Birmingham are two regions that have recently benefitted from cycle infrastructure following data indicating that 30% of journeys under half a mile are made by car (Manchester) and 51% in Birmingham for trips under two miles.

Since the transformation, Greater Manchester has seen cycleway surpass one million journeys on the Oxford Road route and reductions of up to 1.9 tonnes of nitrogen dioxide or 973.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

7,000 bikes were distributed to disadvantaged communities in Birmingham and cycling volume on the canal towpaths increased by 157%.

Job seekers in Greater Manchester benefitted from the Bike Back to Work scheme, with 90% of job-seekers who took part saying that the bike enabled them to get to work and 80% saying it increased their knowledge of getting to jobs.

The Cycle Rail, launched in 2012, encouraging people to cycle to rail stations saw the number of people using bikes to commute in Sheffield increase by 80% and a 75% increase in bikes parked at station.

Chris Heaton-Harris, Cycling and Walking Minister, said:

“Cycling is a fun and enjoyable way for children to get to school, the shops or see their friends. It is also environmentally friendly and has a positive impact on their mental and physical health.

“Extending Bikeability training will inspire the next generation to take to the roads as confident and proficient cyclists and will play an important role in helping us meet our net-zero emission targets.”

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