I am today (26 March 2015) publishing the government response to the informal consultation on the draft cycling delivery plan which sought views from interested parties on its content.
On 16 October 2014, I launched an informal consultation on a draft cycling delivery plan which set out how the PM’s ambition to “kick-start a cycling revolution” would be achieved over the next 10 years as well as our plans to increase walking.
The consultation, which was extended to a 6 week period in total due to the high level of interest, sought general views on the content of the draft delivery plan via email, webchats and
7 dedicated regional engagement events. Over 1,000 informal comments to the consultation were received from cycling and walking campaign groups, local government, transport and
planning bodies and professionals, business, members of the public and others.
We received a wide range of comments, in particular, around the lack of a firm long-term funding commitment which was considered central to implementing aspirations and actions in the draft delivery plan. A further 5 common themes also arose during the consultation, including calls to give walking greater prominence, defining ‘cycle-proofing’, securing the future funding of the Bikeability cycle training scheme, creating national standards for the design of cycling and walking infrastructure and providing greater clarity on the proposed call to action to local authorities to work in partnership with government to increase local level cycling and walking.
The government response sets out our position on each of these matters and most notably, makes clear our commitment to cycling and walking in the long-term by placing a duty in the recently passed Infrastructure Act 2015 requiring government to produce a cycling and walking investment strategy. The new duty requires us to put in place a strategy for England, which, amongst other things, must set out the financial resources which government will make available towards meeting our cycling and walking objectives. This move has been warmly welcomed by our stakeholders.
Government is now considering how best to develop a long-term infrastructure programme for cycling and walking, drawing upon expert advice from cycling and walking stakeholders including the Active Travel Consortium.
It is also important to note that through the duties confirmed in the Infrastructure Act 2015, government will be held to account by Parliament.
I will be placing a copy of this statement and the government response to the consultation on the draft cycling delivery plan in the libraries of both Houses.