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Government publishes £1.2bn cycling and walking investment strategy

Cyclist magazine
28 Apr 2017

Central government announces long-term strategy for cycling infrastructure, but with lots of reliance on local authorities

On the 21st April - the last day it was possible to make such announcements before the approaching general election - the government published its Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS). 

The publication was first talked about 2015, and upon announcement of the general election there were fears that it would be further delayed - or scrapped altogether. But it has been released and is available to view in full here.

In it's words, this is 'a £1.2bn long-term plan to make cycling and walking the natural choice for shorter journeys.'

According to the publication, 'the government wants cycling and walking to become the norm by 2040 and will target funding at innovative ways to encourage people onto a bike or to use their own two feet for shorter journeys.'

With the launch of the strategy, the government is now legally bound to uphold such targets, as well as to fulfill its prospective funding allocations. 

Of the £1.2bn pledged to be invested by 2020/21, £50m has been reserved to provide cycling proficiency training for a further 1.3 million children, £101m to improve cycling infrastructure and expand cycle routes, £85m for road improvments for cyclists, £80m for safety and awareness training for cyclists, £5m to improve bike facilities at railway stations, and £1m on Cycling UK's 'Big Bike Revival' scheme.

That's from the central government, leaving over £800m that will be down to regional governments, councils and Local Enterprise Partnerships. 

In order to ensure this happens, the publication contains guidance and advice - called 'Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans' - for these more localised authorities to follow, showing how cycle and walking infrastructure can be planned and invested in. 

But while this guidance has been given by the central government, the local ones are not specifically required to follow it, and so while the CWIS's publcation can be celebrated, attention must surely now turn to these to ensure that it's potential is realised. 

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