Leaders of cycling and walking organisations have teamed up to write a joint letter to The Times. It has been published in today's edition of the newspaper.
The signatories include Chris Boardman of British Cycling, Phillip Darnton of the Bicycle Association, and Living Streets' CEO Joe Irvin.
Here's the letter:
As the general election approaches, we are asking all parties in their manifestos to encourage cycling and walking. There is growing awareness that active travel can help tackle traffic congestion and cut dangerous air pollution. Up to 40,000 early deaths are attributable to air pollution each year in the UK and road motor transport is responsible for 80% of the pollution where legal limits are being broken. A sedentary lifestyle is also raising our risk of suffering many long term illnesses, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes. And creating liveable places is vital to thriving businesses, jobs and our standard of living.
Our key proposals are:
- a commitment to a new Clean Air Act to tackle air pollution
- a commitment to invest in improving local roads from the planned Roads Fund that will use the revenues of Vehicle Excise Duty from 2020-21
- reaffirm the commitments in the UK Government's Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy for England. (These are, by the year 2025, to double cycling journeys to 1.6 billion per year; increase walking journeys to 300 per person per year; and ensure 55% of children aged 5 to 10 walk to school.)
All major parties have expressed good will towards cycling and walking. These are practical steps to help liberate people to enjoy active travel whilst tackling clogged up roads, harmful pollution, neglected neighbourhoods and our health crisis.
Chris Boardman, Policy Advisor, British Cycling
Phillip Darnton, Executive Director, Bicycle Association
Stephen Joseph, Chief Executive, Campaign for Better Transport
Paul Tuohy, Chief Executive, Cycling UK
Joe Irvin, Chief Executive, Living Streets
Vanessa Griffiths, Chief Executive Officer, Ramblers
Xavier Brice, Chief Executive, Sustrans
Incidentally, Sustrans' CEO Xavier Price can be heard on the latest Spokesmen podcast, narrowcasted at the weekend. This episode of the show also includes Specialized's e-bike boss Dom Feyer of Switzerland.