The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Cycling and Walking (APPGCW) is to hold an inquiry to assess what is required to meet the country’s active travel potential, ahead of the Government’s upcoming second Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS 2).
The Government published the first Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy in 2017, with the objectives to increase cycling and walking activity, reduce the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured on England’s roads and increase the percentage of school children that walk to school.
Although the strategy was ambitious, it attracted some criticism from cycling and walking organisations for not matching this ambition with either demanding targets or adequate funding. Since then, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated progress on cycling and walking.
“We have seen this in terms of travel behaviour (as shown by the massive shifts towards walking and cycling), Government policy (notably the publication of Gear Change and LTN1/20) and funding (as demonstrated by the Active Travel Fund),” said a statement. “We now have a unique opportunity to change the way we travel for the better, but that can only be done with sufficient funding and commitment at government level.”
The Government is due to release CWIS2 in the coming months. In order to help constructively inform and shape the strategy, the APPGCW is launching this inquiry in order to gather the views of a wide range of expert stakeholders. Run in the style of a select committee inquiry, the APPGCW will host three hearings during July, at which invited experts and stakeholders will provide oral evidence. In addition, people will be able to provide written evidence to the inquiry. The report will be launched in early September.
“We’re delighted to be launching this inquiry today,” said Ruth Cadbury MP, co-chair of the APPGCW. “There has never been a better time for us to address how active travel can be improved and promoted, building on the growing enthusiasm for cycling and walking. Our inquiry will aim to constructively inform the Government’s second Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, by bringing together a wide and diverse range of stakeholders and experts.”
Selaine Saxby MP, co-chair of the APPGCW, said: “As a group of parliamentarians committed to improving cycling and walking for all, we’re delighted with the ambition shown by the Government in recent years. It’s also particularly encouraging to have a Prime Minister so personally committed to the issue. This inquiry is a fantastic opportunity for everyone involved in active travel to give their views on how the second Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy can deliver the change that we all want to see.”
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