Tell your MP to back the cycling and walking amendment to the Infrastructure Bill
The Infrastructure Bill, which had its second reading in the House of Commons this week, has been noted for its plans to privatise the Highways Agency and introduce a clear investment strategy for roads. Similar arrangements already exist for Network Rail and investment in Britain's railways.
Our amendment, backed by leading health and social care charities in the Richmond Group would introduce a Cycling & Walking Investment Strategy into law.
The Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy would be made up of four elements:
● a long-term vision to increase walking and cycling rates across the whole population, in rural as well as urban areas;
● a Statement of Funds Available for the next five years that would be spent specifically on cycling and walking;
● a detailed Investment Plan of programmes and schemes - for example to improve cycle-rail integration, retrofit safe walking and cycling paths along busy roads and give provincial towns and cities London-style cycling measures and exemplary public spaces;
● a Performance Specification of measures and targets - for example increases in cycling and walking levels, improvement in safety, and the proportion of schools and stations with safe routes to them.
The Bill has now passed to Committee stage for the consideration of 21 MPs. By writing to your MP, they will be able to put pressure on their party's representatives on this committee.
Such legislation is sorely needed if active travel is to get the appropriate investment to match the government's pro-cycling rhetoric. A recent question in Parliament by Labour MP Jim Fitzpatrick to Transport Minister Robert Goodwill revealed that only £127 million out of £3.1 billion (4%) of Local Growth Fund spending by Local Enterprise Partnerships will go towards walking and cycling schemes. Whilst £114 million was recently announced by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg for eight English cities, this falls far short of the £10 per person per year recommended by the Get Britain Cycling inquiry.