Active Travel Strategy outlines plans to put walking and cycling at the heart of local transport and public health plans

The Government wants to create a generation of new, safe cyclists according to Transport Minister Sadiq Khan. This is one of the aims of its new 'Active Travel Strategy', which outlines plans to put walking and cycling at the heart of local transport and public health strategies over the next decade, and aims to introduce access to cycle training for every child.

The other aims of the strategy include:

  • Every major public sector employer to be signed up to the Cycle to Work Guarantee
  • Cycle parking at or within easy reach of every public building
  • Sufficient secure bike parking at every rail station
  • Local authorities introducing 20mph zones and limits into more residential streets to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists

The Active Travel Strategy is cross-Governmental Strategy, led by Department for Transport and Department of Health, to get more people walking and cycling more often and more safely.

The evaluation of the 'Sustainable Travel Town' demonstration projects was undertaken by an independent research team to review and assess the actives undertaken in Darlington, Peterborough and Worcester to promote increased walking, cycling and public transport use between 2004 and 2009. The Summary Report of the evaluation can be found online.

More detailed analysis of the projects will be made available in the same place in early March.Transport Minister Sadiq Khan said: 'Active travel means a transport system where walking and cycling become the norm. Instead of automatically reaching for their car keys, I want to see people feeling confident enough to jump on their bike or pull on a pair of trainers.'

The announcement is supported by a £12.5m package of investment which will secure cycle training for half a million additional school children by 2012.

The funding, which is part of the Government's £140m cycling budget over three years, will be provided to Local Authorities, the Government's Cycling Demonstration Towns, Youth Sport Trust, School Sports Partnerships and cycle trainers.

Also published today are results from an evaluation of the Government's Sustainable Travel Towns project, which aims to showcase towns that put walking, cycling and public transport firmly in the spotlight. Across three towns - Darlington, Peterborough and Worcester – there have been:

- 7% to 9% reductions in car trips

- 26% to 30% increases in cycling trips

- 10% to 13% increases in walking trips

The government is also publishing a number of research reports from the first six Cycling Demonstration Towns programme. These are an economic analysis of the programme which indicates that the investment delivered high value for money, a survey of levels of physical activity in the Towns across the programme and a summary of the programmes in each of the six towns.

The reports can be found at http://www.dft.gov.uk/cyclingengland/cycling-cities-towns/results/

A further package of measures costing over £12m in 2010-11 has also been announced:

- £6m to over 90 Local Authorities and Cycle Demonstration Towns;

- £6m to schools through the School Sports Partnerships; and

- £500k for bursary grants to train more trainers to deliver the increases in cycle training delivery.

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