Prime Minister Boris Johnson launches ambitious plans to boost cycling and walking.
- PM launches government’s most ambitious plans yet to boost cycling and walking
- Vision commits to thousands of miles of new protected bike lanes, cycle training for any child or adult, and first ever zero-emission transport city
- Launch comes alongside the initial release of £50 bike repair vouchers tonight to encourage more people to enjoy the benefits of active travel
Thousands of miles of new protected bike lanes, cycle training for everyone and bikes available on prescription will be rolled out under new plans to overhaul cycling and walking in England launched by Prime Minister Boris Johnson today (Tuesday 28 July).
Tackling the causes of ill health, not just the symptoms, is vital to help reduce demand on the NHS, and taking up cycling has been proven to offer huge benefits for people’s physical and mental health.
The new plan aims to build on the significant increase in the number of people cycling during the pandemic. It sets out a comprehensive, long term vision to increase active travel and embed the benefits of walking and cycling into how we live, work and get around.
To encourage people to continue to take up cycling, cycle training will be made available for every child and adult who wants it, accessible through schools, local authorities or direct from cycle training schemes.
So that more people can make cycling part of their commute or daily routine, more cycle racks will be installed at transport hubs, town and city centres and public buildings, and funding will go towards new bike hangars and on street storage for people who don’t have space to keep a bike at home.
The commitments in the plan, which will be funded by the £2bn of new money announced earlier this year for walking and cycling, also include:
- Transforming infrastructure through building thousands of miles of protected cycle routes in towns and cities; setting higher standards for cycling infrastructure, to be overseen by a new inspectorate; and improving the National Cycle Network
- Boosting investment by creating a long term cycling programme and budget to ensure a guaranteed pipeline of funding
- Making streets safer by consulting to strengthen the Highway Code to better protect pedestrians and cyclists; improving legal protections for vulnerable road users; raising safety standards on lorries; and working with the police and retailers to tackle bike theft
- Supporting local authorities by empowering them to crack down on traffic offences; and consulting to increase metro mayors’ powers over key road networks
- Improving air quality and reducing traffic by creating more low traffic neighbourhoods to reduce rat running, including by consulting on communities’ right to close side streets; putting in place more “school streets” to reduce traffic by schools; intensive funding of 12 new areas to become more cycle friendly, known as ‘Mini Hollands’; and creating at least one zero-emission transport city centre
- Helping people live healthier lives by piloting a new approach in selected places with poor health rates to encourage GPs to prescribe cycling, with patients able to access bikes through their local surgery
- Increasing access to e-bikes by setting up a new national e-bike programme, to help those who are older, have to travel long distances or are less fit to take up cycling