The Department for Transport has released its long-awaited active-travel strategy. Known by transport wonks as Cee-Whizz, the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, or CWIS, has very little whizz about it. The strategy merely repeats the existing pledge to spend £300m over five years. This amounts to just £1.39 per head, far short of the £10 per head demanded by the parliamentary Get Britain Cycling report of 2013.
CTC’s Policy Director Roger Geffen MBE told BikeBiz:
"The targets, the investment and other measures in this so-called ‘Investment Strategy’ aren’t remotely consistent with the aim to make cycling and walking the natural choices for day-to-day journeys by 2040."
He added: "Ministers need to back up their fine words by shifting funds from the £15bn roads programme, backed up by the cycle-friendly design standards to ensure this money is well spent. We need to invest in cycling to overcome congestion, pollution, physical inactivity and climate change, not make them worse."
Speaking to The Times, Chris Boardman, went further, accusing Prime Minister David Cameron of reneging on his promise to launch a “cycling revolution”.
Boardman, policy adviser to British Cycling, said: “Without sustained funding, this strategy won’t be worth the paper it’s written on."
Cycling & Walking strategy funding = half what it took to refurbish just 1 London tube station Claims v funding Frankly, it's embarrassing.
— Chris Boardman (@Chris_Boardman) March 27, 2016
Other priorities mean "cycling and walking will be put at the bottom of most councils’ lists,” said Boardman.
The strategy is a draft – it now goes out for consultation, with the final Cee-Whizz – now known by some wags as Cee-Swizz – due in the summer.