Government is denying people the choice on how they travel

The government’s ‘plan for motorists’ will impact people’s choice to walk or cycle
  • Cycling and walking organisations react to the government’s ‘plan for motorists’

Six of the UK’s leading cycling and walking organisations have criticised the government’s ‘plan for motorists’, which we expect will be officially announced by the transport secretary on Monday (2 October) at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, saying it denies people their choice, health and freedom.

Bikeability Trust, British Cycling, Cycling UK, Living Streets, Ramblers and Sustrans say instead of giving people real choice in how they live their lives, the plan ignores possibilities for cheap, reliable and sustainable travel, leaving many with one default option: to drive.

The government’s ‘plan for motorists’ outlines plans which the six organisations say strip away opportunities for millions of families to allow their children to walk or cycle to school safely, live healthy lives, and travel to work in a cheap and reliable way.

The following is a joint statement released this morning (29 September) by the CEOs of Bikeability Trust, British Cycling, Cycling UK, Living Streets, Ramblers and Sustrans.

“When the government should be giving people more opportunities to live their lives responsibly, it’s robbing them of options.

“When ministers could be promoting public transport, cycling and walking as cheap sustainable options in a cost of living and climate crisis, they’re entrenching congestion and reliance on driving for short, local journeys.

“When the government could respect people’s freedom to choose how they travel, it’s removing the alternatives. This is a plan that looks no further than one way of travelling and will make the roads worse for those occasions when people do need to drive.

“Having a reliable bus route to work, the freedom to cycle to the park, or to be able to let your children walk to school safely while breathing clean air should not be beyond us.

“This plan restricts people’s travel choices, setting the country on cruise control towards missed net zero targets and a worsening health and inactivity crisis, while denying our children of their independence and freedom to move around their local area safely.”

Emily Cherry, chief executive, Bikeability Trust

Jon Dutton, CEO, British Cycling

Sarah Mitchell, chief executive, Cycling UK

Stephen Edwards, chief executive, Living Streets

Ross Maloney, chief executive, Ramblers

Xavier Brice, chief executive, Sustrans

Notes to editors

About Cycling UK

Cycling UK, the UK’s cycling charity, imagines a world where the streets are free of congestion and the air is clean to breathe, where parents encourage their children to cycle to school and everyone shares the exhilaration of being in the saddle. For more than 140 years, we’ve been making our streets safer, opening up new traffic free routes and inspiring more people to cycle more often.

About British Cycling

British Cycling is the national governing body for the sport of cycling in Great Britain. We govern and develop the sport from grassroots participation through to supporting the riders representing Great Britain on the international stage.

Our purpose is to lead our sport and inspire our communities, and we’re fulfilling this by building on the elite success of the Great Britain Cycling Team and enabling more people to discover the joys of our sport. Our 145,000 members, over 2,000 affiliated clubs, and 12,500 volunteers are at the heart of what we do and the impact we achieve.

Press contact information

For more information, please contact the national Cycling UK press office. If you would like to speak to a member of the press office during working hours (0900-1700) please call Tiia Jaakola on 07867 175716 or email Out of hours, call 07584 271 300.