To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures they intend to introduce to encourage children to walk or cycle to school following the COVID-19 pandemic to reduce the number of cars on the road.
The Government recognises that walking and cycling have great potential as a means of enabling people to move around safely while maintaining social distancing. Active travel can help to relieve pressures on public transport as well as delivering health benefits and reducing motor-vehicle congestion.
On 9 May, the Government announced a £2bn package of funding for cycling and walking. This includes £250m which will encourage cycling to work and school through the provision of pop-up bike lanes with protected space for cycling, safer junctions as well as vouchers for cycle repairs and greater provision for bike fixing facilities. Further details on the allocation of this funding will be announced in due course.
This will build on the Government’s investment of almost £3 million into the Walk to School programme since 2015 which aims to increase the number of children walking to school. For the schools involved in this programme in 2017-18, walking to school rates increased across all schools by 30 per cent, rising from 59.5 per cent at baseline to 77.2 per cent at follow up.
In addition, the Conservative Manifesto made the commitment to extend Bikeability cycling proficiency training to every child in the country.