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Active travel charities slam missed opportunity for funding in this year’s spending review

George Smith
5 Sep 2019

The chancellor announced no extra funding for cycling and walking

Chancellor Sajid Javid’s Spending Round for the upcoming fiscal year has left absolutely no extra funding for cycling and walking, leaving campaigners disappointed, if not necessarily surprised.

The Conservative MP for Bromsgrove failed to mention any funding for the Department of Transport besides £200 million for buses, leaving his government in a tough spot to be able to implement their own cycling and walking strategy.

Sustrans - the sustainable transport charity - CEO Xavier Brice, said, 'this Spending Round was an opportunity for the UK Government to show exactly how committed they are to achieving their cycling and walking targets. The lack of investment suggests this is not a priority.'

Paul Tuohy, CEO of Cycling UK, echoed his counterpart's sentiment, stating that, 'today's Spending Round was a squandered opportunity that showed the government's lack of commitment to protecting the environment and public health.'

Javid controversially hailed his spending plan as one which is 'investing in the people's priorities', but it seems that active travel remains absent from ministers' minds despite their own pledges on the matter.

This failure to act is even more stark when considering that almost 11,500 people contacted their MPs and the relevant minister as part of Cycling UK and Living Streets joint campaign calling for more money to be invested in walking and cycling.

'The Government doesn’t dispute the incredible benefits of investment in active travel, or that spending needs to be radically increased to meet its own modest targets to increase cycling and walking,' said Cycling UK head of campaigns Duncan Dollimore.

'Once again it’s jam tomorrow, with a promise of a new infrastructure plan, a budget later in the year, and a full spending review next year.'

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