Skip to main content

Cycling and Walking

Volume 621: debated on Thursday 23 February 2017

The Wirral Way in my constituency is a beautiful path that is popular with cyclists and walkers for the expansive views it gives over the Dee estuary, and, of course, the fresh air it affords and the internationally renowned bird life. The Government have committed more than £15 billion over five years for their roads investment strategy, but just £316 million for their draft cycling and walking investment strategy. What more will the Government do to increase cycling and walking in the United Kingdom?

We will publish our strategy shortly, but let me correct the hon. Lady. We are spending approximately 2% of the Department’s total budget in this Parliament on cycling, which amounts to just under £1 billion out of a total budget of around £50 billion. We want to make cycling and walking the default choice for shorter journeys, and I recognise all the hon. Lady’s points about the very pleasant area that she represents.

That was an extraordinary answer from the Minister because at Transport questions six weeks ago, the Secretary of State told us that we would not have long to wait for CWIS, but it is almost a year since the consultation was launched. The Department seems to have a problem with lateness: the Bus Services Bill—late; CWIS—late; taxi regulation—who knows?; and private parking measures—more than a year late. Will the Secretary of State tell us how many people in the Department are working on CWIS and give us a firm date—or is it just the Department being late?

That question did not quite capture the hon. Gentleman’s customary generosity at the Dispatch Box. It is clearly a load of nonsense. The Government are investing more in transport than any other Government in British history. Publication of the strategy is slightly delayed because so many people have responded to the consultation, which we will go through very shortly. The strategy is near publication and I will let the hon. Gentleman know exactly when we will publish it shortly.