The Department for Transport has revealed a new strategy that aims to double cycling by 2025 and make it, alongside walking, the natural choice for short journeys – no matter who you are.
The government wants people of every age, gender, fitness and income to naturally walk or cycle instead of automatically taking the car. Its first target is schoolchildren, who it wants to walk or cycle instead of being driven on the school run.
The plans are part of a new Delivery Plan that the government says will encourage people to cycle thanks to ‘specific actions to improve leadership, funding, infrastructure, planning and safety’. Since 2010, funding has already doubled, with £374 million being invested in cycling between 2011-2015.
This equates to £5 per person per year: the target is to double this to £10 per person by 2020-21 (although in London, the figure already exceeds £10 per year).
Transport Minister Robert Goodwill said: “This government is serious about making the UK a cycling nation.
“We want cycling and walking to become the natural choices for shorter journeys, kick starting a cycling revolution that will remove barriers for a new generation of cyclists. This strategy provides a road map for the way forward.”
Specific actions include ‘cycle proofing’ the road network so cyclists are considered during the design stage of new roads, and a strategy to target safety by reducing the number of cyclists killed and seriously injured.
Part of the strategy will also be a plan to address public perfection that cycling is not safe. Indeed, adds the government, cycling not only cuts pollution and congestion, but has “significant” health and wellbeing benefits.