Cycle advocates have lately been making greater efforts to lobby MPs and engage their supporters to do so too, perhaps most memorably with the London Cycle Campaign and Space for Cycling.
Now Sustrans is calling on General Election candidates to support improvements to cycling and walking in their constituency, particularly to help children out of the car and feel safe enough to cycle the school run.
Sustrans supporters are writing to their local candidates about what they would like to see changed to improve walking and cycling and challenging them to commit to where they stand on the topic.
“At a time of growing obesity and traffic congestion, cycling and walking short, local journeys must be made an easy, safe option, especially for our children to walk or cycle to school," said Claire Francis, Head of Campaigns for Sustrans.
“Cycling and walking is now an issue firmly on the political map but we are still a long way from getting firm political commitments for a long-term strategy to increase walking and biking alongside a budget for safe cycle routes.
“That’s why our supporters are calling on election candidates to transform their local community and promote healthy travel.”
Sustrans has been calling for long-term, dedicated funding for walking and cycling, legislation to plan better routes and a default 20mph speed limit in built up areas. Earlier this year, Sustrans was among the organisations that successfully campaigned for the inclusion of a Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy in the Infrastructure Act to ensure that active travel is considered as a priority area for investment. This historic win means that for the first time there is a legal obligation on the government to set targets and investment for cycling and walking to help people walk and bike more easily and safely.
Thousands of supporters of Sustrans and other organisations including CTC the cycling charity, Living Streets, British Cycling and the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England wrote to their MPs and won cross-party support to make this happen.