My Department is investing an unprecedented £2 billion in active travel over the course of this Parliament, which is the biggest ever boost for cycling and walking.
In Cumbria, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to walking and cycling routes, such as the Hadrian’s wall trail, coast to coast and countless Wainwrights. As well as those activities being hugely important for physical and mental health, many businesses in my constituency depend on tourism, and encouraging visitors will assist the recovery of those businesses. Does my hon. Friend agree that now is a great time to enjoy the beautiful Cumbrian countryside by walking and cycling and that longer-term projects such as reopening Gilsland railway station will improve the accessibility and connectivity of our region, which will make these activities easier to enjoy?
Yes, I do encourage people to cycle and walk in Cumbria. I welcome the bid for funding from Gilsland station and visited it only last Thursday to see what it looks like for myself. We will announce in due course whether the bid has been successful, but if successful, the money will unlock funding for a strategic outline business case that could see a fantastic development of a station that has huge potential for tourism and other things.