The UK Government has just published its first ever Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, which includes £1.2 billion (A$2.05 billion) in new investments.
The cycling proportion of this will effectively triple investment in cycling from £2 (A$3.40) per person per year to £6 (A$10.20) per person per year. This is in addition to any money spent by counties and cities, which in cases such as London, is substantial.
By comparison in Australia the federal government does not spend any money on cycling, leaving it up to the states. As we previously wrote about here there is a huge variation in the amount each Australian state and territory spends on cycling, based upon most recent available figures ranging from $2.52 in Tasmania up to $7.30 in the ACT.
Therefore the new UK figure will be considerably ahead of even the best Australian state or territory.
In the UK government’s 38 page report which you can download here, Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP, UK Secretary of State for Transport says that he wants to “…make walking and cycling the natural choices for shorter journeys, or as part of a longer journey.
“For too long, some have seen cycling as a niche activity, rather than a normal activity
for all. If we can increase levels of walking and cycling, the benefits are substantial.
For people, it means cheaper travel and better health. For businesses, it means
increased productivity and increased footfall in shops. And for society as a whole it
means lower congestion, better air quality, and vibrant, attractive places and
“Those benefits explain the Government's ambition for walking and cycling in
England. We aim to double cycling activity by 2025 and each year reduce the rate of
cyclists killed or seriously injured on English roads.”
One of the stated goals of the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy is to double the amount of cycling in the UK from measured 2013 levels by the year 2025.
The government intends to spend the £1.2 billion pounds between now and the 2020-21 financial year, at which time they expect to announce a further five year program.
Most of the money is to be spent on a wide range of construction programs with some to be spent on various bike education, public awareness and other programs.