Climate Action

UK Government kickstarts £2bn cycling and walking revolution

Thousands of miles of new protected bike lanes, cycle training and bikes available on prescription will be rolled out under new plans to overhaul cycling and walking in England.

  • 28 July 2020
  • Rachel Cooper

Thousands of miles of new protected bike lanes, cycle training and bikes available on prescription will be rolled out under new plans to overhaul cycling and walking in England.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has launched an ambitious plan to boost cycling and walking.

The new plan aims to build on the significant increase in the number of people cycling during the pandemic. It sets out a comprehensive, long term vision to increase active travel and embed the benefits of walking and cycling into how we live, work and get around.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “From helping people get fit and healthy and lowering their risk of illness, to improving air quality and cutting congestion, cycling and walking have a huge role to play in tackling some of the biggest health and environmental challenges that we face.”

“But to build a healthier, more active nation, we need the right infrastructure, training and support in place to give people the confidence to travel on two wheels.”

To encourage people to continue to take up cycling, training will be made available for every child and adult who wants it, accessible through schools, local authorities or direct from cycle training schemes.

So that more people can make cycling part of their commute or daily routine, more cycle racks will be installed at transport hubs, town and city centres and public buildings, and funding will go towards new bike hangars and on street storage for people who don’t have space to keep a bike at home.

The commitments in the plan, which will be funded by the £2bn of new money announced earlier this year for walking and cycling, also include improving air quality and reducing traffic by creating more low traffic neighbourhoods to reduce rat running, including by consulting on communities’ right to close side streets.

In addition to this, they will be increasing access to e-bikes by setting up a new national e-bike programme, to help those who are older, have to travel long distances or are less fit to take up cycling.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We’ve got a once in a lifetime opportunity to create a shift in attitudes for generations to come, and get more people choosing to cycle or walk as part of their daily routine.”