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Cycling and Walking

Volume 708: debated on Thursday 3 February 2022

I thank the Minister for the answer. I am concerned that the Treasury has clearly decided that £2 billion is all the ringfenced funding that will be allocated for cycling and walking, but the Department for Transport commissioned research several years ago that apparently says this £2 billion is only a quarter to a third of what is needed to meet the stated aims of the Government to increase cycling and walking by 2025. Can I ask if she will now publish this research, as a former Transport Minister, the hon. Member for Daventry (Chris Heaton-Harris), repeatedly promised two years ago?

I am delighted to confirm that we have now appointed Chris Boardman as the acting CEO of Active Travel England, which I will be meeting after this session.[Official Report, 7 February 2022, Vol. 708, c. 8MC.] Actually, the £2 billion is an unprecedented amount to be investing in walking and cycling over this Parliament. Our investment is already seeing results: levels of cycling increased by 46% in 2020 compared with 2019. However, I would like to put on record my thanks to the hon. Member for the work she does on the all-party parliamentary group on cycling and walking, which I look forward to joining.

I cycle for 10 hours a week, and on a narrow forest road I always cycle close to the kerb, because I am a driver too and I want to accommodate drivers. The advice in the new code that I should cycle in the centre of the carriageway is bonkers, isn’t it?

I would like to stress that that advice is only on narrow roads, but I am delighted that my right hon. Friend has embraced cycling, because we want to see half of the journeys made in towns and cities walked or cycled by 2030.