I am pleased with the progress we have made since 2010 to encourage more cycling and walking, and spending on cycling and walking has doubled from around £3.5 per head to almost £7 per head over the current Spending Review period. However, I believe there is still more we can do to improve and build on the current success. I want to see walking and cycling become the natural choices for shorter journeys, or as part of a longer journey.
It is pleasing to see that since the Cycling and Walking Investment strategy was published in 2017, which identified £1.2bn that may be spent over the five-year period to 2020/21 on cycling and walking, local councils and metro mayors have allocated an additional £700 million through to 2020/21 for safe infrastructure and other Active Travel projects.
In order to help local bodies that are interested in increasing cycling and walking in their local areas, the Government has published guidance on the preparation of LCWIPs. The guidance will enable local bodies to take a more strategic approach to improving conditions for cycling and walking.
I welcome that Warwickshire County Council is developing a LCWIP by the start of 2020/21. Included in the plans are a countywide Bike Share scheme which I believe would be of significant benefit to our local area.
I believe there is merit in the argument that part of the costs of HS2 could instead be invested in cycle and walking infrastructure.
It is for local authorities to identify and prioritise investment for cycling and walking schemes from local funds and relevant national funding streams. Further funding opportunities are available through a range of recently-launched place based funds, including the Transforming Cities Fund, Future High Streets Fund, Housing Infrastructure Fund and the Clean Air Fund.