The second Cycling & Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS2) was published by the DfT yesterday. It covers funding for active travel in the period 2021-25, and was delayed due to the pandemic.
The Foreword by Trudy Harrison. She notes that during the pandemic, cycling rates increased by 46%, and 1 million more people started walking for leisure.
CWIS2 reaffirms the government’s commitment to making active travel the natural choice for millions more journeys. The reasons include:
- active travel is emission-free
- it makes our towns and cities nicer places to live
- it eases congestion
- it makes us fitter and healthier
- it has one of the best returns on government spending
The government’s aim is 50% of all journeys in towns and cities walked or cycled by 2030.
The ambition is the same as that of CWIS1 – to make walking, wheeling and cycling the natural choices for shorter journeys, or as part of a longer journey.
Specifically on cycling, the objective is to double the number of cycling stages in England from:
- 0.8 billion in 2013 to
- 1.6 billion in 2025
Equality and inclusion are the golden threads that will run through investment in walking and cycling networks. High-quality infrastructure will be delivered in accordance with Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs), LTN 1/20, and a soon-to-be-published revised Manual for Streets.
Active travel is supposed to be embedded in local authority planning and transport policies, and to that end, new guidance on Local Transport Plans that align with LCWIPS will be published later in 2022. So far, locally in Harrogate, this has not happened – there is no change to car-centric design by developers.
Walking, wheeling and cycling are important for other government objectives including:
- improving air quality
- combatting physical inactivity
- improving mental health and well-being
CWIS2 claims that in the 5 years to March 2021, investment in cycling and walking in England (outside London) was £2.4 billion, or £10 per head. There is even a revised estimate which says it was £3.245 billion.
As well as dedicated DfT funding for active travel, there are wider DfT programmes, and other central government funding including:
- the Levelling Up Fund
- the Future High Streets Fund
- the Towns Fund
There is an estimate of total government funding for active travel in England from April 2021 to March 2025 in Table 1:
Progress on the objectives will be monitored via the National Travel Survey and the Active Lives Survey.