Cycling and Walking

Department for Transport written question – answered at on 4 February 2016.

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Photo of Chris Green Chris Green Conservative, Bolton West

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate his Department has made of the level of planned investment by local enterprise partnerships in cycling and walking infrastructure through the local growth fund.

Photo of Robert Goodwill Robert Goodwill Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The Department estimates that an investment of at least £270m is planned for cycling infrastructure and an investment of at least £250m is planned for walking infrastructure, totalling at least £520m across the current Growth Deal period. This figure is derived from self-reported figures provided by Local Enterprise Partnerships to the Department in January 2016; the final figure for spend is therefore likely to be higher.

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Chris Beazer
Posted on 5 Feb 2016 12:21 pm (Report this annotation)

This is £520m out of figure of £15 billion for Dft spending - shows where their priorities lie - not to increase active travel.

Roger Geffen
Posted on 5 Feb 2016 2:53 pm (Report this annotation)

To Chris: the £520m cycle spending figure can certainly be compared with the £15bn earmarked for national roads spending However it's not "out of " the £15bn.

The £15bn is central Government funding that the Department for Transport as allocated to Highways England for spending on the Strategic Road Network (SRN, i.e. motorways and trunk roads). The £520m is drawn from Local Growth Funds which are a combined pot granted to Local Enterprise Partnership (LEPs) by central Government - including the departments for Communities and Local Government and for Business , Innovation and Skills, as well as Transport. There are huge concerns about the lack of transparency and accountability of how LEPs decide their funding priorities. there are also concerns that even when the LEPs do allocate funding for cycling, much of it goes towards infrastructure which hinders cycling, rather than helping it to grow.

Meanwhile the fact that there are many different potential funding pots for cycling is itself a problem. Compare this with the clean, centrally directed decision-making on funding for the Strategic Road Network, and then you REALLY get a sense of what the Chancellor REALLY cares about!

Roger Geffen