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Volume 629: debated on Thursday 19 October 2017

The Government want to make cycling and walking the natural choices for short journeys and parts of longer journeys. In April this year, as the hon. Gentleman knows, we published the first ever statutory cycling and walking investment strategy for England. The strategy sets out our plans for increasing cycling and walking, and it identifies £1.2 billion of funding for the period up to 2021.

I am due to go for a bike ride with the Greater Manchester cycling commissioner, Chris Boardman, in a few weeks’ time. As he is a former Olympic champion and maillot jaune holder, I am not looking forward to it and I am spending a lot of time in the gym. Chris is about to publish his strategy for Greater Manchester. What resources will the Minister put at Chris’s disposal, so that he can implement it?

I wish the hon. Gentleman very good luck in his ride with Chris Boardman, and I hope that Chris knows what he is letting himself in for. I have met both the Mayor of Manchester and Chris directly to discuss this strategy, and Chris has been kind enough to share it with me and my officials. Of course, from a central Government standpoint, we will do what we can to support it.