Organised by a range of organisations including NGOs, bike manufacturers and cycle to work scheme providers, Cycle to Work day, taking place today, 8th August, encourages thousands of commuters to leave their cars at home and instead opt to cycle, as a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way of travelling. It is collaborating with Love to Ride, an online platform which motivates people to cycle by being a member of the online community, setting goals and recording rides they take part in.
What is the Government already doing to encourage more people to cycle?
Refreshed Cycle to Work guidance
– Cycle to Work guidance was introduced in 2009 and refreshed in June to coincide with the launch of Bike Week.
– The refreshed and updated guidance has removed the previous £1,000 cap on available cycling equipment, which limited the amount of equipment available. With this removed, employees can access to new equipment, including e-bikes (which are worth over £1,000).
Cycling and Walking Investment funding over the Spending Review period (2016/17-20/21) include:
– £50 million for Bikeability training for school children – around 2.4 million children have been trained over the last ten years.
– £101 million for Cycle Ambition Cities for cycling infrastructure as part of a total of £210 million for eight cities.
– £80 million for the Local Authority Access Fund to support behaviour change and mode shift to Active Travel options (for example, for Big Bike Revival and Walk to School initiatives).
– £85 million from Highways England for cycling and walking schemes crossing motorways and major roads.
– £597 million from the Local Growth Fund for Local Enterprise Partnerships for cycling and walking infrastructure.
– £77 million of local road schemes that support cycling and walking projects through the National Productivity Investment Fund including further work to the Leeds Cycle Superhighway.
– £194 million from the Integrated Transport Block for micro enhancement projects (<£3 million).
– £196 million from the Highways Maintenance Fund for smaller upgrades.
– Some £500 million from a range of cross-Government infrastructure funds, including the £2.5 billion Transforming Cities Fund, £5.5 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund, £1 billion Sport England Sports Strategy (including Local Delivery Pilots), £220 million Clean Air Fund, £30 million HS2 Environment and Safety Fund and £675 million High Streets Fund.
– £23 million funding boost for cycling and walking: £21 million for the National Cycle Network activation projects, £1 million for Walk to School Outreach and £1 million for the Big Bike Revival.
Findings from the walking and cycling statistics for England 2018
– Recent statistics from the Walking and Cycling statistics for England 2018 show that people are walking more and cycling further than before.
– People have walked more often and further distances over the last 3 years, following a period of decline. Nearly all local authorities had at least 60% of their adult population walking at least once a week.
– Cycling trips have remained static (down 5% since 2002) although the average distances people are cycling has increased over time.
– The Government’s ambition is to make cycling and walking the natural choices for shorter journeys or as part of a longer journey, by 2040. This is set out in the statutory Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS) of April 2017: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cycling-and-walking-investment-strategy.
– In the current Spending Review, spending per head on cycling and walking has almost doubled to £2 billion. This includes a £23 million boost to funds announced in March. The funding helps create safe and direct routes connecting communities in towns and cities across England and allows people to enjoy the health and environmental benefits of active travel.