The Transport Committee launches an inquiry to consider ways of increasing active travel across England.
Active travel in England far behind other EU countries
Switching from motorised transport to walking and cycling has clear benefits for people’s health and the environment. But the take-up of active travel varies widely across England, and is far behind other European countries such as the Netherlands and Denmark.
The reasons for low take-up vary, but it is often due to perceived safety risks, poor planning, quality of street design and supporting infrastructure. For many, the private car is still viewed as a much more convenient alternative.
Send us your views
The Committee calls for written submissions on:
- the benefits and risks of active travel, and the extent to which they are properly understood by the public and Government;
- recent trends in walking and cycling and factors contributing to these trends;
- the effectiveness of the Department for Transport in setting the strategic objectives for active travel and in working with other departments that have relevant responsibilities;
- the balance of responsibilities for active transport between central Government and local bodies and whether the current arrangements achieve an appropriate balance;
- implementation of the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS) so far, including in relation to the Cycling Ambition Cities;
- the adequacy of funding associated with CWIS and any concerns around a lack of ringfencing;
- whether the current mix of initiatives to support active travel is appropriate, particularly with respect to safety;
- what can be learnt from international approaches in supporting active travel;
- whether there are fundamental planning issues which need to be addressed as part of an any approach to active mode travel; and
- the issue of poorly maintained local authority roads and the impact that this has on cyclists.
Deadline for written submissions is Thursday 11 October 2018.
Chair of the Transport Committee, Lilian Greenwood MP, said:
“Walking and cycling are both extremely important modes of sustainable transport. The health benefits, as well as their contribution to cutting air pollution and congestion on the roads, are clear.
However, take-up of active travel is disappointingly low in this country, with significant variations from region to region. Overall, we compare very unfavourably with many of our European neighbours. So why are we so slow to get active?
Is local and central Government policy and funding appropriate? Is more needed than just building the infrastructure, such as cycle lanes? How can we promote behavioural change so that walking or cycling become the default for first and last mile journeys? Those are the key questions at the heart of our inquiry, which I hope it will bring renewed attention to this issue.”