Active Travel — [Mr Adrian Bailey in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 9:30 am on 9th July 2019.

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Photo of Robert Courts Robert Courts Conservative, Witney 9:30 am, 9th July 2019

I could not agree more. The health benefits are some of the most important. I started my speech by saying that there are many benefits, and health benefits—both physical and mental—are pre-eminent among them. I am sure we all realise that, as people who do jobs that are sometimes slightly stressful and sedentary as well. Speaking as a keen hiker and cyclist, there is nothing quite like getting on a bike or putting on hiking boots at the weekend and shaking off some of the stress. It certainly kills a number of birds with one stone.

I am delighted that the Government recognised the benefits of active travel with the adoption of the cycling and walking investment strategy in 2017, which set out their ambition to make cycling and walking the natural choice for shorter journeys, or as part of longer journeys, by 2040. It sets out aims and targets for 2025, including doubling cycling activity from the 0.8 billion cycle stages made in 2013 to 1.6 billion in 2025. I understand that the Government have commissioned research into how the strategy’s aims for 2025 can be met and that the research, when published later this year, is likely to suggest that significant additional investment in cycling and walking will be needed to meet the targets.