Cycling and Walking

Transport – in the House of Commons on 11th March 2021.

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Photo of Ben Bradshaw Ben Bradshaw Labour, Exeter

What steps the Government are taking to help local authorities increase levels of cycling and walking.

Photo of Chris Heaton-Harris Chris Heaton-Harris Minister of State (Department for Transport)

The Government are investing £2 billion in active travel over the rest of this Parliament, much of which will go to local authorities. This is the biggest ever boost for cycling and walking.

Photo of Ben Bradshaw Ben Bradshaw Labour, Exeter

Many local authorities, including Conservative-run Devon and Labour-run Exeter, are working very well together to deliver on the Government’s vision. What will the Minister do about the small number of obstructionist local councils, such as Kensington and Chelsea in London, which, incredibly, does not have a single segregated bike lane in the whole borough and, furthermore, recently tore out a new temporary one that was very popular with local families, forcing those families and children back out on to a busy main road on their way to school?

Photo of Chris Heaton-Harris Chris Heaton-Harris Minister of State (Department for Transport)

I welcome the right hon. Gentleman, who is a new member of the Transport Committee, and look forward to working with him as we move forward on this agenda especially. We have met on this subject previously. He will know that local authorities across the country are doing a marvellous job. Devon County Council has received £1.6 million from the active travel fund in this financial year and is spending it very wisely. There are local authorities that have not consulted on schemes quite as well as we would have liked in the past. We are trying to rectify that, and we are working from the centre with local authorities that are struggling to deliver schemes, to ensure that they deliver them properly, with the appropriate consultation, and that taxpayers’ money is spent wisely.