Blog

  |   Uncategorised

ADEPT

What is ADEPT?
The Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning & Transport (ADEPT) represents place directors from county, unitary and combined authorities across England, along with directors of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), sub-national transport boards and corporate partners drawn from key service sectors. Our current membership is here.
The key to unlocking economic recovery and renewal lies with local leadership. Place directors create the strategies, run the services and lead the projects that shape local places for their communities. The whole country benefits from investment in local place. Tackling inequality and climate change, while promoting health and wellbeing, supporting business and maintaining critical infrastructure is most successful when national investment is locally led.
ADEPT represents members’ interests by proactively engaging central government on emerging policy and issues, responding to consultations and enquiries, creating national guidance, and promoting initiatives aimed at influencing government policy. ADEPT also represents public sector interests across all its key areas in national and regional sectoral organisations. For more information see the website.
Contact Details
Name: Mark Kemp – 1st Vice President and Chair, Transport and Connectivity Board, ADEPT
Email: Mark.Kemp@hertfordshire.gov.uk
Response
Targets. Are the existing targets for cycling and walking consistent with getting transport on course to reach net zero by 2050? More specifically, do we need a new walking target for 2025, and do any other targets need to be revised or added?
• A new national walking target should be established. The walking targets in the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS) are already being met. The CWIS target is 300 stages per person per year in 2025. In 2019, the DfT reported that 332 walking stages were made per person .
• The CWIS cycling target is low in comparison to countries such as the Netherlands. The current target is to double total number of cycle stages made each year from 0.8 billion in 2013 to 1.6 billion stages in 2025. However, in 2016 the Netherlands, with a population approximately one third of that of England, recorded 4.5 billion bicycle trips .
• The COVID-19 pandemic and the implementation of social distancing has resulted in ‘unprecedented levels of walking and cycling across the UK’; in some places and for specific journeys there has been a 70% rise in the number of people cycling . Previous targets did not account for a shock event of this magnitude. As such, short-term targets for 2025 must be reviewed and more ambitious targets established.
• It is important that any new targets align with annual statistical releases (e.g. stages per person per year). The current CWIS cycling targets do not align with the data reported in DfT’s annual walking and cycling statistical release. Aligning the target with statistics reported in the DfT walking and cycling statistical release would enable greater public visibility and accountability on how well future CWIS 2 targets are being met.

Overall level of funding. What level of funding is required to meet the Government’s targets for increased cycling and walking by 2025 and 2030, and/or any new targets we may propose?
• ADEPT supports the Government’s recent announcement (May 2020) of a £2 billion funding package for walking and cycling. However, to deliver transformational changes, both in terms of walking and cycling infrastructure and travel behaviour, a firm commitment from central government to provide long term funding beyond 2025 is required. This will support the development, delivery and (critically) maintenance of active transport initiatives, such as those associated with the LCWIP programme. Long term funding is also required for training and other behavioural activities associated with making active travel accessible to all. This could be achieved by bringing together various funding streams into a single, integrated active travel fund and by considering the current balance of funding between the various transport modes. The fund should equate to the per capita funding levels seen in countries such as the Netherlands.

Capacity. Do local authorities and other bodies have the capacity and skills needed to spend the funding allocations required to meet the Government’s targets (or any new ones)? If not, how can this capacity be boosted, and how quickly can CWIS spending be ramped up? What should be the role of Active Travel England? What resources will it need to fulfil this role?
• Local authorities face significant capacity and resource constraints. The continual need to prepare funding bids, usually with tight timeframes, limits their ability to deliver new walking and cycling schemes (i.e. funding bids requires officer time and can also require expenditure on third party consultants). To maximise available resources, larger long-term funding allocations covering multi year periods should be considered.
• Active Travel England’s role should be to review and provide expert advice on new walking and cycling infrastructure designs developed by local authorities and other bodies. This advice should be free and easily accessible by local authorities and other bodies. Active Travel England should also be available to support and guide local authorities who do not necessarily have the skills, experience and historic success in securing funding for new walking and cycling schemes.
Breakdown of funding. What should CWIS 2 funding be spent on – i.e. what programmes or initiatives should be funded? How much capital and how much revenue? How much of this capital and revenue should go to transport/highway authorities, to Active Travel England, to the voluntary sector, to Highways England and HS2 Ltd, etc, and how much should be spent by government directly? How can government maximise the opportunities for its funding allocations to leverage in additional funding from other sources?
• It is important that a significant proportion of all funding is directed towards local authorities, particularly those in areas where walking and cycling schemes may not have been prioritised in the past. It is considered that walking and cycling schemes are most likely to succeed when a user centric, locally led approach is adopted. Local authorities have a much better understanding of the needs and travel patterns of residents and workers.
• There must be consistency in the funding of active travel schemes, both essential revenue funding and capital investment. This will enable longer-term capacity expansions, as well as stronger advocacy for effective active travel elements alongside new transport schemes and developments.
• Funding, along with expertise and the provision of good practice guidance, must be made available for monitoring and evaluation so that local authorities can understand the potential outcomes of interventions at a more granular level.
Public and political acceptability. The extensive and widely reported opposition to schemes such as low-traffic neighbourhoods emphasises that interventions promoting walking and cycling are often controversial. How can consensus be built both nationally and locally to support the action required?
• To improve political and public buy in to walking and cycle schemes at the earliest possible opportunity it is important that effective, timely and well thought out community and stakeholder consultation is undertaken. To support this, central government should provide best practice guidance on community and stakeholder consultation specifically in relation to walking and cycling schemes.
• New walking and cycling schemes must adopt a user centric approach to their design. Walking and cycling schemes must take account of the needs of the people that will use these schemes and the place(s) where these schemes are located. The delivery of walking and cycling infrastructure that does not reflect the needs and travel patterns of residents is likely to result in low public acceptability.
• There is a need for a more unified political position on walking and cycling policy at local and national levels. Walking and cycling schemes are on occasion poorly supported by local councillors who have other, shorter-term transport priorities (e.g. resolving traffic congestion). This position often conflicts with national policy.
Behaviour change. The pandemic has shown how flexible people’s travel behaviour is in certain circumstances. What combination of schemes and policies will provide the basis for a substantial and lasting shift towards active travel?
• New walking and cycling schemes must be safe and connect with existing infrastructure. Often walking and cycling infrastructure provided as a part of new developments does not connect with existing infrastructure or connect with local services and facilities.
• A range of walking and cycling schemes must be provided. This includes schemes that provide medium and long-distance connectivity between settlements / parts of an urban area and schemes that provide local connectivity to local services and facilities. To maximise the potential for mode shift for short and medium length journeys, there must be good connectivity between local, medium and long-distance routes.
• Measures to encourage the uptake the use of walking and cycling must sit alongside measures that reduce the attractiveness of the private car (e.g. by not providing additional capacity on the road network in congested urban locations).
• Policies must acknowledge and recognise the value of the broadening array of active first / last mile modes and technologies (e.g. e-scooters and e-bikes) and review the current legalities around their usage. These should recognise the relative impacts, benefits and disbenefits of electric micro mobility technologies (such as electric scooters and e-bikes) compared to traditional active travel modes. For example, e-bikes have the potential to significantly increase the proportion of short and medium length journeys undertaken by active travel modes. E-bikes also have the potential to appeal to users who may not otherwise have travelled by pedal cycle.
Wider policy support. What else do DfT and other government departments need to be doing in order to maximise the impact of CWIS 2?
• The Government response to the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in many more people using active travel than prior to the lockdowns. Alongside the UK Parliament’s declaration of a climate emergency and growing public concern about climate change, there is now an opportunity to push the active travel agenda and its wider contribution to the economy, environment and society.
• DfT must assess and publish progress on CWIS and in future CWIS 2 to develop best practice guidance. This will ensure consistency and enable more effect cross-boundary working.
Walking as much as cycling. The differences between the two modes are significant and cycling has been shown easier to “cater to” than walking. How can CWIS 2 exploit the shared characteristics of walking and cycling whilst at the same time ensuring that both modes receive appropriate attention and emphasis?
Levelling up. How can CWIS 2 assist with the delivery of the levelling-up agenda? In particular, what can be done to correct the pattern that councils with a strong track record in active travel receive disproportionately large shares of the funding?
• Active travel can generate health, economic, environmental and social benefits, contribute to improved wellbeing and help to prevent or manage a range of chronic health conditions. It can also contribute to economic performance by reducing congestion, and through reducing emissions, tackle climate change and improve air quality. Furthermore, active travel has a key role to play in aiding the UK’s Covid-19 economic recovery, potentially boosting local town centres, levelling up benefit in deprived areas, reducing congestion and increasing productivity.
• New walking and cycling infrastructure can improve the accessibility of jobs and other local facilities and services (e.g. by addressing issues of severance or improving existing routes that are unattractive for walking or cycling). This can provide new economic opportunities for people living in areas with high rates of unemployment and high levels of deprivation.
• It’s positive to see resources going into active travel provision. However, LAs’ ability to deliver is compromised by competitive bidding, unrealistic timescales, skills and capacity shortage, inability of the supply chain to deliver. LAs with more capacity are better placed to bid for funds when they become available. To resolve this issue councils need devolved, multi-year funding, realistic timescales for development and delivery (including community consultation) and the opportunity to develop and sustain markets and local economies.
Justice and inclusion. Walking and cycling are the most accessible modes of transport but the profile of those travelling by these modes does not reflect this. How can the priorities of justice and inclusion be “baked in” to CWIS 2?
• Place more emphasis on transport inclusivity, with access to active travel being prioritised in marginalised communities and areas of low employment, as well as rural areas where low carbon transport services are less frequent.
• A people and place-based approach to the design and implementation of walking and cycling schemes must be adopted. New walking and cycling schemes must consider the end user, their needs and their travel characteristics.
• Walking schemes must consider the needs of all users, including: People with mobility impairments, wheelchair users, visually impaired users and hearing-impaired users. Cycling schemes must consider all types of cycle (e.g. hand cycles, family and cargo cycles, wheelchair friendly cycles, tricycles and recumbents).
Decarbonising transport. Given the extraordinary contribution active travel can make to tackling the climate emergency, how should CWIS 2 be positioned within transport and wider climate policy? More specifically, how should CWIS 2 fit with the anticipated transport decarbonisation plan?
• The forthcoming transport decarbonisation plan should be closely aligned with CWIS 2 and be at the forefront of transport and wider climate policy. This will ensure that the strong positive momentum generated around active travel as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is maintained.
The relationship between central and local government. Given that most “on the ground” delivery will fall to local government whilst funding and oversight will lie at the centre, how can CWIS 2 provide successful mechanisms to support this? What can be done to support transport/highway authorities that may not have a strong record in promoting walking and cycling?
• Set up a new independent body to advise local government on how to institute a transformational change programme for low carbon transport and encourage local authorities to update their local transport plans to prioritise decarbonisation and active travel. This could potentially be delivered via Active Travel England.
• Make expertise available, potentially via Active Travel England, to support local authorities in developing new high-quality walking and cycling infrastructure.
• Improve communication with local councillors to ensure that there is a coherent political policy position on walking and cycling at a national and local level. Often, local councillors are not supportive of walking and cycling schemes.
• Central government should provide good practice guidance, potentially via Active Travel England, on the monitoring and evaluation of active travel that helps local authorities understand the outcomes of programmes, alongside what is and isn’t working so that they can make the best use of available funds and resources.
• Central Government should review the existing planning process to strengthen user hierarchies to establish active travel as a cornerstone in the planning process and promote a user-centric approach to developing mobility options tailored at a local level.
• Central Government should actively encourage and fund local authorities to make temporary walking and cycling measures introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic permanent.
• Central Government should champion active travel and provide leadership at a national level. With Covid-19, the UK Parliament’s declaration of a climate emergency and growing public concern about climate change, there is a golden opportunity to push the active travel agenda and its contribution to the economy, environment and society.
Programme and project management. Complex programmes require skilled management and certainty about funding. How can CWIS 2 help to create a culture of successful planning and delivery of investment?
As referenced above, LAs’ ability to deliver programmes is compromised by competitive bidding, unrealistic timescales, skills and capacity shortage, inability of the supply chain to deliver. LAs with more capacity are better placed to bid for funds when they become available. To resolve this issue councils need devolved, multi-year funding, realistic timescales for development and delivery (including community consultation), and the opportunity to develop and sustain markets and local economies.


Cllr Suzie Akers-Smith

‘Breakdown of Funding’
The criteria to achieve funding for active travel schemes is weighted in favour of cities.  We in the shires have a different need and a different criteria to be met.  Whereas the funding has been allocated to areas where the schemes created were to replace bus journeys, where there are no bus journeys there was no alternative funding mechanism.  It would be better placed to support the shires if the funding criteria was linked to the propensity to cycling toolkit, and not population density or replacing bus journeys.  That would mean we as a council who are committed to active travel can successfully apply for funding.

In respect to the breakdown of funding, the highways team are unable to fix the missing links and the cost to make routes accessible is prohibitively expensive.  I have attached a few cycle safari’s which highlight the issues that need fixing, yet they do not fit in with the funding criteria laid down to achieve funding.  The funding is great but it also needs to be significantly increased.  In relation to Catherine Beavis in Macclesfield, she needs a lot of barriers removing, at £3 – 5k per barrier removal, we will only be able to remove 1 or 2 per annum.  The funding needs to be more flexible and we should not have to jump through hoops to achieve it.

There is little thought given to these schemes, yet if we fixed these minor small problems it would open up routes for people to use which will in turn make them more confident, and which will lead them onto cycling on the road.

 

The other issue is there is not enough funding to pay for the maintenance of footpaths and to upgrade them.  Attached are cycle safaris which demonstrate the need for flexible funding and to allow us to actually fund change.  We at Cheshire East council received £588,000 which was enough for 3 schemes.  We need a lot more money if we are going to make a better environment for people to walk and cycle and the criteria to obtain this funding needs changing.

 

‘Justice and Inclusion’
Many people choose to use mobility scooters and wheelchairs to travel about, but a recumbent trike is also a mobility aid, but due to the cost of purchase a bike limits who can afford to buy one.  If a doctor prescribed exercise to a patient, that patient could purchase a e-assist recumbent bike without having to pay vat.  Presently, it is not acceptable for recumbent bikes to be available for purchase on a motorbility scheme.  I feel this needs looking at and addressing. It is quite wrong that government provide financial support to purchase a motor car but not a tricycle, which improves the fitness of all using one.

July 2021

 

Beyond Logic Consulting

Summary
To achieve the desired gear change in active travel it will be necessary to develop a COHERENT STRATEGY which goes beyond transport by considering land use planning, health & wellbeing and the involvement of local people, with appropriate BESPOKE SOLUTIONS which take into account the local CONTEXT and involves a combination of ‘Hard and ‘Soft’ measures designed around how PEOPLE really are rather than how it is thought they should be:
Figure 1: key elements of an effective active travel strategy

Reason for submitting evidence
My ambition is to ensure that the money spent on active travel is used as cost-effectively as possible. My research into past spending has highlighted that it is all too easy to waste money and effort by not taking the time to plan properly and implement effectively. However, value can still be obtained from less successful projects by learning the lessons from them and applying these lessons now.
Underlying this ambition is the fact that I am greatly concerned about climate change and also aware of the need for people to be more active for health reasons.
My credentials
I have been working in transport for over thirty years and involved in many projects concerning active travel. This has included helping to develop TfL’s strategy to achieve a 5% mode share for cycling, then later (between 2014 and 2019) I had overall responsibility for the monitoring of TfL’s strategic cycling infrastructure while Head of Insight at Steer.
Also, while at Steer I was responsible for the monitoring and evaluation of their behaviour change projects many of which involved increasing walking and cycling. This gave me important insights into the effectiveness of different approaches to behaviour change, and also highlighted the value of taking into consideration the emerging evidence from the field of behavioural economics / behavioural science.
I left Steer in 2020 to pursue my interest in behavioural science and more widely, the use of evidence to inform transport strategies, policies and behaviour change programmes. Of particular relevance to this Inquiry is the research I have undertaken into the effectiveness of measures to increase active travel. This involved a thorough review of the available literature, both academic and more practical. For this I reviewed 71 papers and reports many of which were themselves were systematic reviews, meaning that the results of hundreds of individual studies were taken into consideration (the sources are listed here: active travel sources).
On the back of the evidence found I prepared a practical guide to encouraging active travel with a summary available here how to get people to walk and cycle more with further details also available.
This research and my practical experience has placed me in an exceptionally strong position to make evidence-based recommendations to the Inquiry.
Response to questions
Q1 Targets
The targets lack ambition and if achieved will have no noticeable impact on carbon, partly because without any ‘push’ factor the increase in active travel won’t be at the expense of private car. The Inquiry should therefore consider:
• a more ambitious headline target such as 50% of trips by active modes by 2035;
• devolved targets set at a local level;
• specific targets for mode shift from private car.
Q2 Overall level of funding
A properly costed long term strategy is needed to determine the required level of funding to achieve the target set. It is noted that the 18 cycling towns and cities cost an average of £15 per person per year and achieved average increases of 25% BUT with very variable results, which ranged from a 6% to 62% increase over the length of the programmes (Sloman L, Cope A, Kennedy A, Crawford F, Cavill N and Parkin J (2017) Summary of outcomes of the Cycling Demonstration Towns and Cycling City and Towns programmes).
Ideally, a national road pricing scheme will be used to raise some of the funds (as well as create mode shift).
Q3 Capacity
Insufficient resources is a barrier and authorities should be encourage to form partnerships and pool resources. Funding should not be released until there is confidence that money will be spent effectively and without waste. One option would be to require authorities to submit a bid for the funding using RADAR (Results, Approach, Deployment, Assessment, Review) or a similar format. This would be used to assess the impact of the programme, its value for money, and its deliverability.
Q4 Breakdown of funding
It is important that the funds are spent based on a coherent long term strategy which as a minimum takes into account:
• The local context;
• An appropriate mix of ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ measures such as infrastructure, training, information, incentives, gamification, marketing, personalised travel planning and some measures which push car drivers to walking and cycling rather than driving (car parking management, pricing);
• An approach which reflect the real nature of people and not how they are usually assumed to be (rational, time rich, utility maximising), i.e. based on the application of Behavioural Science (see a selection of concepts in Table 1);
• Policy areas adjacent to transport including land use planning, urban design education and health;
• Involvement of local people in the design of schemes, and effective engagement with stakeholders;
• On-going monitoring and periodic evaluation.

Table 1: Selection of behavioural science concepts and their implications
Behavioural concept Short description Implications for travel behaviour change
Being seen to be good People like to be seen to do the right thing for society. It’s worth promoting the beneficial impacts of people switching from car to active modes so that people who are walking and cycling can feel good about themselves
Default People will tend to choose the default option in order to make their lives less complicated, even if this is not the best option. Making the active option the default can encourage people to use that option. For example, a journey planner can default to the walking option.
Easy People are generally looking to make their lives easier and reduce the hassle factor. Simplicity and convenience are essential and to facilitate a behaviour any friction should be reduced.
Empowerment People need to feel they can succeed in order to be motivated to try. This affects the messaging and imagery used. For example, when promoting cycling it’s important to show that anyone can do it.
Endowment effect When we own something we put greater value on it and don’t like to give it up. This is a challenge when looking to encourage someone to give up their car, while the effect also applies to giving up road space which is regarded as being theirs.
Framing Choices are heavily influenced by the way they are presented and, for example, which (and how many) options are shown. For example, when showing the price of something (cycle parking, bus fare) a commonly used (and often effective) tactic is to make sure that more expensive options are shown alongside the option you expect to be used.
Habit Most (90%+) behaviour is habitual with little reflective thought given to it. To change behaviour, the very first thing that needs to be done is interrupt the current pattern. Life events (such as moving house or starting a family) are good habit breakers, as are major roadworks or events.
Internal consistency People like to be internally consistent. This concept is sometimes utilised in behaviour change programmes by encouraging participants to make a commitment which they then feel compelled to be consistent with.
Loss aversion People are more affected by losses than gains. The impact of losses helps to explain why car drivers can react so negatively to roadspace re-allocation (and a loss of space for them).
Messenger The impact of a message can be as much about the messenger as the message itself. Even if a celebrity cannot be used, it is important to consider where the message is coming from, as well as the message itself.
Need for self esteem People need to have self-belief and a positive self-image. Image is an important factor in car ownership, and conversely can be a deterrent to public transport use.
Present bias (or Short termism) Things occurring imminently are given far more importance than those occurring in the future. One challenge this can present is where there is an upfront cost, such as a season ticket, a bike purchase, or joining a hire scheme. This is typically addressed by using a monthly payment plan and underpins the success of PCP which accounts for around 80% of new car purchases.
Primacy of emotion Brain scanning has shown that our emotions are triggered in advance of rational thought and there is good evidence that emotions drive decision-making. As David Ogilvy the advertising guru put it: “Customers need a rational excuse to justify their emotional decisions. So always include one”.
Relativity People think in relative rather than absolute terms. This relative way of thinking can be a disadvantage where the walk, cycle or bus journey time is longer than for car. This is an even greater challenge as people generally perceive the car journey time to be the uncongested time, and excluding the time taken to park. It is a particular challenge for bus as the costs of car use tend to be massively under-estimated making bus fares seem very expensive.
Social norm Unwritten societal (or group) rules which influence an individual’s behaviour. This can be utilised by showing the desired activity as normal and popular.

Q5 Public and political acceptability
Alongside effective engagement, using a transparent evidence based approach such as The Beyond Logic Circle of Understanding (see below) can help garner support.

Q6 Behaviour change
The Covid-19 pandemic did show that behaviour can be changed, but it took a global disaster and severe government action to achieve and even then it appears to have been temporary with traffic volumes now back to where they were (albeit with some different characteristics). The evidence shows that really substantive long term change will require tough action (that is, ‘sticks’ as well as carrots) and this needs to be recognised. In practice, it will be appropriate to start with the more palatable measures while laying the groundwork for tougher measures.

Q7 Wider policy support
A coherent strategy needs to include land use planning, public realm, health and education (for travel to school).

Q8 Walking as much as cycling
The active travel strategy needs to consider transport in the round including, for example, walking and cycling as ways of accessing bus, rail and tram stations. New mobility modes like e-scooters also need to be taken into account.

Q9 Levelling up
The initial funding allocation should be on the basis of a simple £ per head calculation, possibly adjusted on the basis of current active travel using the Active Lives survey. However, funds should only be released on the achievement of agreed milestones, the first of which would be the production of a coherent long term strategy. Ideally the draft strategies would be evaluated by independent expert evaluators who would provide constructive feedback as well as a score/rating (the process here may be similar to that used to evaluate bids for funding from the LEPs).
There will need to be a mechanism to reward success and address weaknesses, and this may be via the amount of DfT involvement and oversight required.
Q10 Justice and inclusion
The Monitoring & Evaluation Plans for the local CWIS 2 strategies should include indicators relating to justice and inclusion.
Q11 Decarbonising transport
CWIS 2 cannot on its own have a noticeable impact on carbon emissions and the reality of this needs to be recognised so time isn’t wasted. However, it can contribute as part of a national road pricing scheme by providing attractive alternatives to car and hence making road use pricing both more effective and more acceptable.
Q12 Relationship between central and local government
Central government should take on a ‘support and challenge’ role. As far as possible the detailed design and implementation needs to be left to local government and local people, but where necessary central government will need to be in a position to step in to ensure money is not wasted (and is not diverted to another purpose). A bidding process is likely to be needed, but it is vital that this is not a competition between authorities, but simply a process for giving local authorities access to active travel funds, and a means of ensuring these funds are spent effectively.
An important additional role for central government is to provide a repository of data, information and tools as part of their support function.
Q13 Programme and project management
One important element of programme management will be a Monitoring & Evaluation process which is both proportional and effective. It will need to include an element of external oversight, and initiate central governments ‘challenge’ role if targets and milestones are not met. This will be crucial for keeping the general public and stakeholders on-side – they need to see that money is not being wasted and that any negative effects represent a sacrifice worth making.

 


Bicycle Association

The Government has recognised the role that active travel, particularly cycling, must play in future decarbonised transport. Over the coming decade we will be replacing significant numbers of car and van trips with cycles and cargo cycles, many electrically assisted.

  • This is a significant opportunity for business growth and job creation. The UK cycle industry will need to scale up to supply sufficient vehicles, service and maintain them.
  • Technical innovation in cycling can also drive jobs and growth. Promising areas include the rapid evolution of electric-assist cycle technology, smart and connected cycles able to communicate with a new breed of smart and automated e-cars, and innovative use of data and online services.

There is also already substantial crossover with the automotive sector, in electric motor systems, batteries, components and new lightweight vehicles like electric cargo cycles.

  • This is a powerful coalition of interests, ready to scale up and help deliver the future decarbonised transport that Britain needs. We want the added value and jobs this generates to be in the UK.
  • Brexit, COVID and recent international logistics issues have all boosted the case for more UK-based, resilient and ‘close-to-market’ R&D, production and assembly.

Outline proposal

We propose an initiative with the working title “UK Bike Valley”, which may be either a geographical cluster or (perhaps more likely) a UK-wide, network initiative which would

  • Equip the industry for growth with facilities currently lacking – such as a start-up incubator and full-service test lab.
  • Develop UK production and assembly capability.
  • Connect this new sector with the emerging automotive and light electric vehicle industries to benefit from cross-fertilisation and further innovation, especially battery and bike to vehicle (B2V) technologies.
  • And to give our UK cycle industry the international profile it deserves to attract export customers and overseas investment to the UK.

The Bicycle Association urges the Government to use the opportunity presented by the Gear Change vision to consider this proposal.

 


Adrian Brasnett

 

This submission is in a personal capacity as someone with an interest in active travel.  In this response I am addressing your questions of:

 

Wider policy support. What else do DfT and other government departments need to be doing in order to maximise the impact of CWIS 2?

 

Decarbonising transport. Given the extraordinary contribution active travel can make to tackling the climate emergency, how should CWIS 2 be positioned within transport and wider climate policy? More specifically, how should CWIS 2 fit with the anticipated transport decarbonisation plan?

 

The relationship between central and local government. Given that most “on the ground” delivery will fall to local government whilst funding and oversight will lie at the centre, how can CWIS 2 provide successful mechanisms to support this? What can be done to support transport/highway authorities that may not have a strong record in promoting walking and cycling?

 

The focus of this submission is to ask the APPGCW to not overlook the challenges raised by the push to convert the country’s motor vehicles to electric propulsion and the, often inadvertent, impact this may have on cycling and walking.

 

The Government’s push to electric motor cars (EVs) has been accompanied by various incentives.  Local authorities provide further subsidies on ownership, e.g., in the form of lower parking permit fees[1], exemptions from congestion charges or – as being trialled in Cambridge – permission to drive in bus lanes.

 

While it is undeniable that EVs are less polluting at the tailpipe than conventional internal combustion engines (ICEs), they are by no means a zero-carbon form of transport.  Regardless of the issue of the energy mix which produces the electricity required to charge them and their carbon-intensive manufacture in the first place, these cars produce particulate pollution from brake and tyre dust.  More significantly, many SUV-style EVs are extremely heavy compared to their ICE counterparts.  A Tesla Model S for example weighs about 2.5 tonnes.  Large EVs have the potential to do a lot of damage to cyclists and pedestrians in any collisions.  Any exemptions that permit EVs to mix with vulnerable road users are illogical and highly undesirable.

 

More generally, the success and support for traffic reduction measures in urban areas, such as LTNs, contribute to a better quality of life for these areas as a whole, e.g., in increasing cycling and walking to schools in safety and by reducing particulate pollution.  These benefits would not be achieved by making exceptions that would allow EVs to make journeys banned or disincentivised in ICE vehicles.

 

I also would ask the APPGCW to highlight and address the issues that charging infrastructure present to cycling and walking.  Charging points should not be sited at the expense of space for walking and cycling. Unfortunately, there seems to be little regulation of where public charging points are located, as shown in the examples below.

 

The first picture is of a recently installed set of charging points in Routledge Street, Widnes. Shockingly, these are bang in the middle of the pavement with no apparent consideration for the blind, users of wheelchairs or parents pushing buggies.   The second picture is a typical charge point, again located on a pavement taking up space from active travel.  In both cases the charging leads stretch across the pavements making a trip-hazard.

 

In contrast, the final picture shows a charging point fully on the road, showing some thought and consideration to the needs of pedestrians.  There is no good reason why this type of arrangement should not be the design standard for locating charge points.

In summary, decarbonising transport via good cycling and walking infrastructure should be at the forefront of all transport and planning policy over and above any moves to promote the shift to EVs.  As noted in the 2017 CWIS, 2/3 of all journeys in urban areas are less than 5 miles.  Installing quality cycling infrastructure that meets LTN 1/20 standards in all new developments and during any renovations of existing road networks will should be a priority over any policies that might incentivise shifting those journeys into EVs.  LTN 1/20 should also be reviewed and revised to strengthen it against any encroachments by policies promoting EVs, e.g., at least to proscribe charging points on pavements or in cycle lanes.

 

Wider policy support outside the DfT is critical.  EVs – which have their part to play – should not be seen as a universal panacea to all our needs, nor different from any other motor vehicle (given that by 2030 they are likely to be the predominant form of cars on the road in any case).  Any departmental policy that mentions or promotes the use of EVs should be reviewed against CWIS and LTN 1/20.  This is particularly the case for new housing or other building developments.  Any conflicts between CWIS and LTN1/20 on the one hand, and EV policies on the other, should be resolved in favour of the former.

 

The relationship between central and local government is critical.  As the pavement charge points shown above illustrate, local implementation of good infrastructure to encourage and enable active travel varies widely.  Central government should set clear planning guidelines that ensure active travel is not adversely impacted by promoting the shift to EVs.  Local government should be required to review any proposals to park, charge or drive EVs against CWIS and LTN1/20 and ensure that safe active travel is prioritised.

[1] In Hackney for example an annual EV parking permit is £10 compared to up to £369 for an ICE car, or £42 for a space in a cycle storage locker.

 


British Cycling

British Cycling written evidence to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cycling and Walking evidence session in support of the Governments development of a new cycling and walking investment strategy. To accompany the oral evidence provided by Chris Boardman, British Cycling Policy Advisor and Transport Commissioner for Greater Manchester.

The written evidence will take the form of a transcript of the oral evidence that Chris presented a portion of to the committee on the 9th July 2021.

 

“Let me start my input with a large measure of optimism and positivity. What a moment of opportunity this is for the future of Active and Accessible Travel choices in this county. Last year’s publication of Gear Change was a moment of celebration for all of us who have campaigned to see active travel taken seriously within transport policy.

 

We have seen equal ambition from the Governments of Wales and Scotland, things are happening nationally and regionally which gives me great hope for the future. There is real momentum behind walking and cycling, we have a Prime Minister who gets it and is a man of action and regional Mayors who share his enthusiasm and want to see rapid, transformational change, so that people finally have real choice about how they chose to move around.

Let us be clear that there is no need to seek to make driving less attractive, we simply need to make active travel more attractive but if you need to take from the first activity to better enable the latter, then we must be prepared to do so, as long as we are delivering the high quality, inclusive alternatives that people can use safely and easily.

I am now a few weeks into my new expanded role as Transport Commissioner for Greater Manchester. The 4 years I have spent focusing on active travel gave me great insight into how the system works, the interface between politics and operations, as well as a belief that Greater Manchester (and other places) can, if it chooses, really lead the way on this journey and show how a viable and attractive alternative to driving can be put in place and at the necessary pace.

Active travel is a vital piece of the solution, but it will only work if supported by an affordable and integrated public transport network. Like every city in the UK, Greater Manchester must meet its clean air and carbon reduction commitments. And after just a few weeks in the job it is abundantly clear that we cannot deliver it without a fundamental shift in how we travel.

 

I am going to attempt to support this evidence session buy returning to the summer of 2019. I and the other Cycling and Walking Commissioners from city regions and Nations across the country, sent a letter to the then Transport Secretary Chris Grayling asking for practical support to help us to better do our jobs.

 

Our 5 asks of the Government were:

  1. Commit to long-term devolved funding.
  2. A political commitment to minimum quality levels.
  3. Enable the local retention of fixed penalty notices to fund road danger reduction measures.
  4. Enable us to innovate by keeping road traffic regulations under review.
  5. Transport investment decisions should account for the true cost of car use to society.

I still believe that these are the right practical ways to help the Government plan for an effective and targeted investment strategy that can deliver quickly and with ambition.

Let us look at what progress has been made so far and what we have not yet started.

Funding – £2bn is a fantastic commitment, but it is not the long-term settlement that Local Government needs across England. Indeed, the short-term bidding process is hampering delivery this year. We absolutely need the next investment strategy to commit to long term funding so that councils can invest in the specialist expertise necessary to develop and deliver high quality ‘active travel’ schemes. I know how hard it is for Local Government to develop and then hold on to talented people. A long-term strategic funding settlement that allows Councils to build effective teams is vital for the delivery of high-quality walking and cycling infrastructure. Gear Change has delivered the ambition, we now need the investment strategy to deliver the money and it needs to be a transformational bold level of investment.

 

Design standards – LTN 1/20 is excellent. In Greater Manchester we have invested in accessible training for Highways teams in our 10 Districts so that they understand how the standards support them in their roles, how to use them most effectively and most important of all how to engage with the communities they serve so that change is received positively. It is excellent to hear that the DfT are now replicating this training for councils across the country, and I hope that my team at TfGM can support them by sharing our experiences over the last 3 years.

 

But what about standards for walking and wheelchair users and public transport users? There is an urgent need for continual review and improvement. It is wonderful that the Manual for Streets is being reviewed and a new updated version planned. When it is published it must have the same fanfare and promotion that LTN 1/20 had, and the standards must be enforced with the same rigor and accessible training delivered widely. This is especially true for the building of new developments. It is vital that the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government ensures that his teams and his agencies take this work seriously and engage with the DfT closely. I would like to see that vital cross department work specifically outlined in the next investment strategy as it has been in Gear Change.

 

Fixed penalty fines – We have sadly seen no movement on this critical issue. The case we made 2 years ago remains. Significant cuts to road policing budgets have led to a dramatic reduction in operations and a marked increase in road danger and casualties. These traffic offences could be more effectively enforced if revenue from fixed penalty notices from road offences were kept locally and reinvested in road safety activity in the community where the offences are taking place.

 

This approach would not only give local police forces the means to improve road safety, but it would generate public support for such activity, where funds generated can be seen to be invested back into their community. Ultimately, the aim would be to remove the need for major enforcement activity when casualty rates are drastically reduced through the provision of self-enforcing road infrastructure and road user behaviour.

 

This strategy is already being utilised in Scotland where 19+ local authorities are reinvesting the in-come in not only enforcement activities but public transport, car clubs, parks maintenance, and park and rides.

 

We urgently need a visible enforcement presence on our road network. Sadly, one of the very negative impacts of the Pandemic Lockdowns was that dangerous speeding by too many drivers rocketed and that dangerous trend has continued as our roads have filled up again with cars. English Councils urgently need new devolved powers to police their urban and rural roads, raise funding and keep people safe.

 

Closely aligned with this (and brilliantly championed by Cycling UK) is the need for the comprehensive review of road traffic offences and penalties, as promised back in 2014. People need to both be safe and feel safe on our roads and that requires the most dangerous drivers to be banned from ever driving again. Driving is a privilege not a right and if people abuse that privilege, then it should be taken away from them.

 

Traffic regulations – Sadly, this is one of the most frustrating areas where we have not seen any movement. The very welcome review of the Highway code will we hope if delivered in full be very helpful but need legal and engineering solutions now to deliver the required infrastructure and to adapt to a rapidly changing post COVID world.

 

As we stated 2 years ago if we are to encourage more people to walk and cycle, we need a framework that enables us to explore new solutions and not hinder progressive thinking. We need to be open about where the regulations are not delivering a truly high-quality experience for people walking and cycling.

 

This should include looking at ways to improve pedestrian crossing provision such as simple zebra crossings at side roads or reviewing guidance on walking speeds to help local authorities make the case for extending pedestrian crossing times at signalised junctions. Importantly give Local Authorities the powers and the funding they need to lower the speed limits easily and quickly on many dangerous roads, urban and rural.

 

Why not also review our National Speed Limits, we live in a very different world from the one where 60MPH and 30MPH were considered appropriate. Our roads are crowded and often in poor repair, if we want to tackle dangerous speeding lets be bold and make everyone slow down. Many such ideas are in regular use across the world including devolved nations of the UK but are not currently sanctioned in England.

 

We would ask that traffic regulations, be kept under constant review to ensure they meet the needs of cities and communities across the country. City regions like Greater Manchester are eager to work collaboratively with the Department for Transport to update road traffic regulations and, with government backing, pilot ideas with real promise. Let Local Government be the testing area for new ideas, let us be brave and learn by trying. If the Pandemic has taught us anything it is that we do things quickly if we want to and that a pilot is not permanent and can be easily taken out again if proven not to work.

True costs of motoring – We are living through a climate crisis. The Government has recognised this and later this year we host the UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference COP 26. We know that transport is one of the biggest contributors of dangerous greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere and that toxic air is killing thousands of people each year and stunting the lives of children.

 

Currently, economic appraisal models do not take full account of the negative consequences of making private car use easier, nor do they take full account of the benefits of walking and cycling on our health, wellbeing, and environment. This approach to appraising the value of transport investment has led to systemic undervaluation and underinvestment in sustainable transport.

 

If the full impact of developing for private car use, particularly in urban areas, is factored into transport investment decisions, sustainable modes would return far greater levels of public benefits. We ask that the Department for Transport and the Treasury change their appraisal methods to focus on efficient use of road space and total people movement, rather than being based around capacity and journey times for vehicles.

 

This vital change is needed despite the move toward more electric vehicles. We know that electric cars and vans still pollute, and their use does nothing to tackle congestion, noise road danger and population wide inactivity.

I am sure that other people giving evidence today will agree that one way to achieve this is to resurrect the Traffic Reduction Act (a summary here SN00420.pdf (parliament.uk)).

 

Several regions have set their own traffic reduction targets, so we are in a different world to 1997 when this was first tried. Very simply this would mean that every Local Authority would have to set targets and report on them.

I am told by people working in Transport at the time, the first version of the bill was fantastic, but then got subsequently watered down and eventually was disregarded as unachievable.

Sadly, the Traffic Management Act has had the opposite effect by introducing network management duty which made it virtually impossible to negatively affect car use. Maybe this is an example of the brave and bold reaction we need to the Prime Ministers call to action in Gear Change.”

 


Brompton

Brompton is pleased to submit this evidence on ebike ‘plug-in’ grants. We believe, as Britain’s leading bicycle manufacturer, in the transformative nature of e-bikes, in enabling more people to cycle, for more and longer journeys. Quality electric cycles are expensive to produce but the rewards to society are huge; we believe further government support is required to help provide access to e-bikes to those who cannot afford the upfront cost.

Last year Shimano’s State of the Nation report surveyed 13,000 Europeans, and found Brits are the least willing to try an ebike: just 7% of us, compared with 30% in Italy.

We’ve seen first-hand how the pandemic turbo-charged interest in ebikes, though: sales of electric assist cycles grew 52% last year, and are predicted to nearly triple by 2023. Interest in e-Bromptons is no different. E-cycle sales already outstrip e-car sales in the UK, 160,000 e-cycles in 2020 – one every three minutes – vs 108,000 e-cars, and yet e-cycles are still the only electric vehicle without a plug-in subsidy.

While expensive cars are made affordable by finance schemes, cycles are almost the reverse – a problem Brompton Bike Hire services, pay-as-you-go subscription models, have tried to resolve. But we need fair support for e-bikes from a government which provides grants for electric cars. This year, #BikeisBest research suggested ebike finance would drive sales, with 60% of new cyclists surveyed saying they were ‘very likely’ or ‘likely’ to buy an ebike with a government subsidy. While the Cycle to Work scheme has made ownership and, more recently, e-cycle ownership easier, self-employed, retired people, and students are left out, because the scheme relies on employers’ involvement. A plug-in grant, or purchase grant, similar to e-car grants, could help turbo-charge ebike growth, with all the health, air pollution and decongestion benefits ebikes bring.

If we hope to meet net zero goals, tackle air pollution, congestion, and car dependency, and reduce our carbon emissions, we need e-cycles. According to the Bicycle Association (BA), plug-in grants would be twice as effective at cutting carbon emissions, per pound spent, as e-car grants, recommending £250 per e-bike to boost sales.

Many European countries and cities offer to swap gas guzzlers for e-cycles, from Austria to Norway, Scotland to France. A French car scrappage scheme gives citizens €2,500 to spend on e-cycles in exchange for their old petrol or diesel vehicle. This followed a 2017 plug-in grant that doubled French e-cycle sales, and 61% of trips made by grant recipients replaced fossil-fuel powered journeys.

E-cargo cycle grants have helped UK businesses reduce their carbon footprints and vehicle miles, while improving delivery times. Similar grants could help replace cars with cargo bikes for everyday journeys, like the school run and shopping trips, if there are decent cycle routes, too.

According to Shimano a third of people who said they’d use or buy an ebike wanted them for longer distance trips, steeper climbs and for their physical (30%) and mental (22%) health. In England we still drive 68% of trips under five miles, while the pandemic has damaged our health in so many ways – problems cycles, and e-cycles can solve. We are told government ebike support is on its way; the sooner, and the more ambitious the better.

It is also important, from our perspective, to consider the role that active travel has in complementing public transport. The first CWIS report published by the government acknowledged this, but it is essential that progress continues; active travel and public transport can go hand in hand to reduce car dominance and maximise door-to-door convenience. We call for an acceleration of the Cycle Rail programme which should also take into account on-train provision in line with changing transport habits. We are concerned by recent developments which are providing even more car parking capacity at inner-city rail stations; we should be deciding how we want people to travel by providing a more balanced approach, weighted towards active travel and bus travel.

 


 

Community Rail Network

Description and reason for submission: Community rail is a unique and growing movement comprising more than 70 community rail partnerships (CRPs) and 1,000 volunteer groups across Britain that help communities get the most from their railways. It is about engaging local people at grassroots level to promote social inclusion, sustainable and healthy travel, wellbeing, economic development, and tourism. This involves working with train operators, local authorities, and other partners to highlight local needs and opportunities, ensuring communities have a voice in rail and transport development.

One of the four key pillars of the Department for Transport’s Community Rail Development Strategy [1] is promoting sustainable and healthy travel, placing rail at the heart of sustainable journeys. We are increasingly seeing community rail partnerships and groups developing projects to link rail with active travel including walking and cycling and are keen to see further progress in this area.

Questions

Capacity. Do local authorities and other bodies have the capacity and skills needed to spend the funding allocations required to meet the Government’s targets (or any new ones)? If not, how can this capacity be boosted, and how quickly can CWIS spending be ramped up? What should be the role of Active Travel England? What resources will it need to fulfil this role?

Community rail partnerships and groups can add resourcing, skills, and knowledge to projects to increase walking and cycling activity, especially through their knowledge of the rail network and common barriers to sustainable travel, including how to connect rail better with walking and cycling routes and facilities. Local authorities and other bodies should seek to include community rail in active travel consultations and projects, and they will have useful insights to offer, and may be able to assist in, or even lead on, the delivery of projects. Their involvement should ensure a more joined up and holistic approach across sustainable transport modes, aligning with recent commitments made in the new Transport Decarbonisation Plan, [2] and meaning local schemes are doubly valuable, aiding more inclusive, sustainable and healthy access to the rail network as well as a more attractive active travel network. Their position within communities also helps schemes to be genuinely place-based, responding to local needs, and getting local people involved and enthused, helping to maximise take-up and reduce the risk of local backlash.

Many community rail groups are already working to improve connectivity between rail and other modes of transport, with a range of success seen in walking and cycling schemes. Groups have worked to provide improved facilities and infrastructure at and around stations, such as applying for funding for bicycle racks and lockers or overseeing projects to improve signage or paths connecting stations to residential areas and town centres. Working with local cycling and walking groups, and bringing them together with train operators and other transport providers and authorities, they have a track record in bringing disparate parties together towards common goals, as well as delivering sustainable travel awareness-raising, outreach and confidence initiatives.

Many of our members are involved in projects designed to improve walking and cycling routes to and from stations, as they are aware that increasing access by foot and by bike is key to people being encouraged to make longer, and more regular, multi-modal journeys involving active travel and rail. We would advocate that both modes be given equal attention and emphasis, and suggest this in ‘Connected Stations’, [3] our guide to community-led station travel planning. We state that when seeking to improve walking and cycling environments, e.g. the ‘first and last mile’ to and from stations, there are shared aims and characteristics that can be applied across all projects. For example, how safe, easy, direct, and attractive are walking/cycling routes? Are they well-maintained, well-lit, and traffic free? Are the routes obvious, with directions and other relevant information, e.g. transport connections and timetables, clearly signposted? If the routes are accessing stations, is the area in and around that station welcoming and well-designed for people arriving on foot or by bike, and are their needs prioritised over vehicle users?

Some community rail partnerships have also worked with local authority partners on wider plans around walking and cycling, such as Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs), to improve active travel connections with rail. We have encouraged partnerships to work with their local authority to offer their support and expertise in this area. For example, Community Rail Cumbria worked with Cumbria County Council to help draft Local Cycle & Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs) for the six key service centres across the county. They advised on requirements for cycling and walking routes to/from the relevant railway stations, worked with the authority’s active travel team to support healthy lifestyles, and looked at using station volunteers as walking guides. The partnership was also involved in joint messaging on new initiatives and support for strategic planning to link walking and cycling with rail, such as improved signage and public information.

Community rail partnerships and groups are rooted in the communities they serve and well-placed to identify opportunities for active travel projects that integrate well with rail and wider public/community transport links, but they might not be obvious local partners. We therefore encourage the new strategy to name them as prospective partners in any walking and cycling schemes.

Behaviour change. The pandemic has shown how flexible people’s travel behaviour is in certain circumstances. What combination of schemes and policies will provide the basis for a substantial and lasting shift towards active travel?

The government has stated its aim for public transport and active travel to become the ‘natural first choice for our daily activities’ [4] To achieve this, new schemes and policies will need to overcome embedded behaviours, especially private car use. There appears little doubt that the impacts of COVID-19 will change travel patterns for the foreseeable future, and some positives have come from this, including a marked rise in regular walking and cycling. There is a need to seize on the positive elements of travel behaviour change caused by the pandemic, and the glimpses we have all been given of quieter, less polluted communities with less traffic.

In our recent report on encouraging and enabling modal shift, [5] we looked at research insights into behavioural change in this area, and would suggest that policies/projects should look to:

  • Combine ‘normalising’ communications with practical improvements – encouraging people to monitor their transport behaviours against social norms has proved effective in sustaining active and public transport use. This resonates with wide-ranging studies indicating that social norms are important in guiding choices and habits. It suggests that normalising sustainable travel and the use of public transport and active travel as a natural way to get around is key. Providing and communicating stories of successful instances of modal shift can also resonate with people and help to encourage and embed long-term change. Practicalities are crucial too, and we would suggest that active travel options could be most effective when well-integrated with other modes, made highly visible and accessible to potential users, and understood by local people. Research has shown that the most successful interventions were those that focused on short and simple journeys and allowed users to try out the sustainable options first, e.g. supported cycling projects;

 

  • Recruiting people socially – Social practice research argues that people cannot be ‘persuaded’ to adopt different behaviours, but need to be ‘recruited’ within their social contexts. This suggests that communications and practical improvements should be combined with interactive engagement that assimilates sustainable travel behaviour, such as walking and cycling, with local needs, lifestyles, and identities. COVID-19 has illustrated how behaviours can change quickly, but for these to become embedded, it requires a ‘social mandate’, [6] so changes become accepted and habitual in the longer-term;

 

  • Place-based approaches – One of the key themes in research around sustainable behaviour is considering local contexts, putting local needs at the heart of any project or development, and involving communities in the process of change. This involvement must be meaningful and sustained if interventions are to have long-term impact. The DfT’s Transport Decarbonisation Plan has as one of its priorities ‘Place-based solutions to emissions reduction’, recognising that, whilst decarbonisation of transport has to happen everywhere, it will be enacted in places. Place-based approaches are seen to have the potential to engage communities and businesses in building the vision of the neighbourhoods, towns, cities, and villages they want to live in, including transport networks. This will be crucial in attempting to achieve the transitions needed to move away from strongly embedded behaviour, such as car use;

 

  • Listening, empowering, and enabling – Research across disciplines points to localised, community-driven activity as being important, if not vital, to achieving action on the climate emergency and sustainable behaviours. Localised approaches and interactive engagement can support people to make change together, and many studies have proposed that community empowerment naturally produces more sustainable forms of development. Engagement can build a sense of identity and belonging around transport modes other than cars, e.g. walking and cycling, promoting them in ways that are engaging, relatable and empowering, connected to local realities and identities.

Community rail aligns extremely well with all of the points above, and its ongoing success over 25 years – and continued growth and development – shows how a grassroots approach can help to stimulate a sense of local ownership and momentum around the process of change that cannot be created from the top-down, so there is no need to try to ‘persuade’ people to change their behaviours. It becomes instead a case of community members making things better for themselves and their future collectively, with sustainable transport behaviours and people’s sense of local pride, identity and aspiration becoming inextricably linked. Evidence, such as the examples highlighted in our ‘Value of community rail’ report, [7] shows that community rail has been effective in bolstering passenger numbers on local railways, and widening access to rail among different groups, benefiting sustainability and social inclusion. We therefore suggest that community rail (along with grassroots networks brought together by third sector partners that we work with through the Sustainable Transport Alliance, such as community transport providers, shared mobility schemes, and local Living Streets groups) has many valuable lessons and insights to share with projects looking at active travel specifically or sustainable travel as a whole, which the strategy could beneficially recognise.

Walking as much as cycling. The differences between the two modes are significant and cycling has been shown easier to “cater to” than walking. How can CWIS 2 exploit the shared characteristics of walking and cycling whilst at the same time ensuring that both modes receive appropriate attention and emphasis?

We strongly encourage a holistic approach to accelerating progress on sustainable, healthy, and inclusive travel across modes, at local, regional, and national levels. It is very welcome that the DfT has published a cross-modal Transport Decarbonisation Plan, and we hope this will galvanise a less siloed approach across the transport sector, but there is without doubt much work to do to achieve the greener, healthier, and more equitable transport system we need, to safeguard our climate and unlock manifold benefits for communities. Our members often testify to the complexities and barriers surrounding pulling together partners at a local level across modes, especially across rail and bus, but also sometimes to do with (lack of) resourcing among local authorities, and a sense sometimes that these modes are competing rather than working together. There is also the ongoing, significant issue of ‘car is king’ mentality, fears around offending or disadvantaging ‘the motorist’, or simply an ongoing assumption that people will continue to drive, especially in rural areas. The Transport Decarbonisation Plan commits to accelerating modal shift and making public transport and active travel the natural first choice, but of course these commitments need to be followed with strong leadership and rapid action, particularly to reinforce the sustainable transport hierarchy, empower and enable localised action, and steer away from misapprehensions that electric cars will save the day. It is clear too that cross-departmental working is needed, especially given the links with local planning and housing, to ensure new developments are not locked into car dependency, and that regeneration investment supports a shift away from private car use.

We very much welcome the recognition in this consultation that active travel improvements should consider walking as much as cycling. Community rail experience attests to the great importance of walking for accessing public transport – the first and last mile of longer journeys – as well as short local journeys, and this important aspect is often overlooked. Walking is of course the most accessible, cheapest, and lowest carbon way to get around – not to mention the very well evidenced health and wellbeing benefits – yet people’s ability to walk is absolutely not a given. In rural areas especially, a lack of safe/suitable/accessible paths and pavements, for pedestrians and cyclists, is very common, even on routes linking stations to major local conurbations, and even in more urban areas there is often lots of scope for improvement around stations themselves, such as better/safer/faster changing crossings, cycle slipways, and forecourts designed for people not cars. Improvements like this – as our members are often involved in – can hugely increase the catchment area of stations and widen access to rail (and the same applies to other modes of course) for those who previously found it out of reach, often for modest costs.

Our guidance for community rail partnerships and groups on station travel planning and integrated transport urges that local communities are engaged inclusively (going beyond consultation) to consider the needs of different groups, including existing pedestrians, cyclists, and rail passengers, but also considering those who might be able to start using these modes if barriers are removed. We therefore suggest that this approach generally is taken to active travel development, while acknowledging that initiatives often can benefit those using different (sustainable) modes and encourage more to take them up.  See pages 8-12 and 18-23 of our Connected Stations toolkit.

Decarbonising transport. Given the extraordinary contribution active travel can make to tackling the climate emergency, how should CWIS 2 be positioned within transport and wider climate policy? More specifically, how should CWIS 2 fit with the anticipated transport decarbonisation plan?

Accelerating modal shift to public and active transport is one of the main strategic priorities of the Transport Decarbonisation Plan, with an associated focus on encouraging increased levels of walking and cycling, particularly for shorter journeys. One of the positive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the widespread recognition that our communities have benefitted from less traffic, positioning alternatives to driving as aspirational. This change in attitude must be grasped if we are to preserve and extend rises in walking and cycling, and the major health and wellbeing benefits this offers.

While we welcome the prioritising of active travel for shorter journeys, if the level of transport decarbonisation needed to avert the climate emergency is to be achieved, walking and cycling also need to be integrated with public transport and shared/community transport, to encompass longer journeys and, in turn, decrease private car use. Most transport carbon comes from car journeys of ten miles plus, and the biggest share from leisure, so the new strategy must emphasise how cycling and walking can be enhanced as realistic elements of longer journeys and/or leisure travel, e.g. the first last mile of trips, joining with modes such as rail or bus/coach.

Community rail experience shows how by enhancing and better joining up rail, buses, walking and cycling we can unlock greater social, environmental, and economic value from our transport network, enabling more people to travel who would otherwise have limited mobility, and enabling those journeys to be made by entirely sustainable, healthy, socially responsible means. It is important to note that these benefits cannot be realised through a focus on electric cars, which are neither inclusive, nor sustainable, in relation to the embodied carbon and intensive use of resources, and which fail to address the congestion, road danger and particulate pollution problems that communities everywhere suffer. Therefore, we hope that the new Transport Decarbonisation Plan will aid a clearer focus on walking and cycling, along with rail, bus, and other forms of public/shared/community transport, ensuring that these modes are integrated and prioritised over the private car. Strong messaging and leadership, from national government and at regional and local level, reinforcing the great benefits of public transport and active travel combined, for individuals, health and wellbeing, our communities, and climate, will be hugely helpful in securing sure progress.

 

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/community-rail-development-strategy/connecting-communities-with-the-railways-the-community-rail-development-strategy

[2] https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1002285/decarbonising-transport-a-better-greener-britain.pdf

[3] https://communityrail.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/ACoRP-STP-toolkit-final-version.pdf

[4] https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/932122/decarbonising-transport-setting-the-challenge.pdf

[5]  https://communityrail.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Modal-shift-report-FINAL-FOR-WEB.pdf

[6] https://researchportal.bath.ac.uk/en/publications/building-a-social-mandate-for-climate-action-lessons-from-covid-1

[7] https://communityrail.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/ACoRP-Value-of-Community-Rail-2019-final-for-web-141019.pdf

 


 

CoMoUK

CoMoUK is the charity playing a leading role in the UK’s transition to integrated mobility solutions designed for the public good. We want transport to be cleaner, safer, healthier, greener, cheaper, more convenient, and more inclusive. CoMoUK supports the development of shared modes: car clubs; bike share; 2+ ride share; plus emerging modes such as on-demand buses and e-scooters – all to enable mobility lifestyles which present an alternative to private car ownership.  We work closely with local, regional, transport and national authorities in the UK to develop shared transport schemes and mobility hubs, which we accredit, and we conduct unique research into the sector.

 

We welcome this chance to try and influence the content of CWIS2. We note that CWIS 1 totally ignored the role of shared transport in encouraging cycling and walking activity, and made no reference to bike share other than in a passing reference to bike hire at train stations. As the evidence CoMoUK has accumulated shows, bike share can act as a catalyst for greater levels of cycling. We believe that bike share has an important role to play in encouraging behaviour change and supporting a substantial shift towards active travel.

 

Bike share encourages new cycling

CoMoUK carries out an annual survey of bike share users. The survey results have consistently shown, over the five years it has run, that bike share is a catalyst to re-engaging with cycling. It allows people to engage with cycling without the costs and responsibility of owning a bicycle. In the 2020 survey, 55% of respondents (up from 44% in 2019) said that joining a bike share scheme was a catalyst to them cycling for the first time in at least a year. Of these people, 29% had not ridden for 5 years or more and 2% were completely new to cycling. Meanwhile, the number stating that they were already cycling has dropped from 55% in 2019, to 45% in 2020.

 

Bike share boosts active lifestyles

The survey asks whether users have changed the amount that they cycle since starting to use the scheme. In 2020 well over half (60%) reported an increase, with 38% stating that they are cycling more often and a further 22% choosing the option indicating that they are cycling “much more often.” When looking at just those riding e-bikes, 27% indicated they were riding much more often. It also boosts more active lifestyles generally (48% of bike share users report health benefits as being a reason they chose to use a scheme).

 

In some cases, bike share triggers users to go on to buy their own bike – 12% of respondents said they had bought a bike since joining. Given that a further 37% reported that they already own a bike, for many people personal bike ownership and use of a bike share scheme are complementary and used for different types of trips rather than being alternatives to each other.

 

Bike share creates modal shift

Respondents were asked if they had changed the amount they used their car as a result of using bike share. 24% said they were using their car less and 11% said much less, making a total of nearly 36% reducing their car use.

 

Encouraging bike use through promotions

CoMoUK has instigated a range of promotions initiated by the Scottish Government in Glasgow and Edinburgh to encourage bike share, and in other cities this has been done by operators themselves. As a result of these promotions, 80% of these riders started cycling again: 5% for the first time, 33% for the first time after a 5+ year break and the remaining 42% after a shorter break of 1-4 years.

 

Electric bikes

With the roll out of EV infrastructure, the development of electric bike share schemes should also be considered. E-bikes encourage more active travel amongst people who, for various reasons, may not want to consider ordinary bikes. The bike share survey found that there were no significant age differences between e-bike riders and the whole group, indicating their appeal to all generations. The extent to which people reduced their car use was found in the survey to be higher for those with access to electric bikes: nearly 48% of respondents reported that they were using their cars less often as a result of using an e-bike share. However, many people do not have the finances to purchase their own e-bike or the space to store it. The UK currently has over 30 e-scooter trials being managed by the DfT as a precursor to potential change in legislation, and this offers an opportunity to further encourage e-bike use.

 

Mobility hubs

In order to further encourage active transport generally, greater effort should be made to encourage the creation of mobility hubs. These are places where shared, public and active transport come together with public realm improvements. They provide a choice of sustainable modes appropriate for each trip and improve the surrounding access and public realm. Not only can hubs bring positive options together but they can also be part of taking away – or never building in the first place – private car dependency, particularly private car parking.

 

 

To summarise, we believe that encouraging greater use of shared transport, and in particular boosting bike share and mobility hubs, is crucial for supporting and enhancing other moves aimed at creating a lasting shift towards active travel. We hope the APPG will recognise this and recommend that the DfT and the MHCLG further support shared transport as a way of maximising the impact of CWIS 2.

 


 

Crawley Borough Council

 

  1. Modal shift targets are likely to be more useful than active travel trips – and possibly more related to journey purpose. It will not be as advantageous for an increase in active travel to be drawn from a drop in public transport use rather than a shift from car use. Utility trips are more important than leisure trips, from a health as well as transport impact. Active mobility is more likely to be undertaken routinely for functional transport than for leisure (beyond an initial introduction to active travel). It is not clear that the targets recognise this.
  2. Budgets need to be assessed in relation to those allocated to wider road infrastructure. Looking at an LCWIP network for a town like Crawley of 110,000, costing iro £40m to meet LTN1/20 standards when cycle, and (to a lesser extent) walking, infrastructure is starting at a low or non-existent baseline, it is clear that £2bn isn’t going to go very far. In contrast, continued expansion of an existing, relatively sophisticated road network demands far greater sums with outcomes that rarely meet objectives and frequently undermine active travel, often creating literal barriers to improved active travel outcomes.
  3. Local authorities are cut to the bone and have little capacity to deliver without additional staff resources. There is also a cultural deficit within LTA Highway departments meaning there is some resistance to prioritising active travel infra and embracing Gear Change principles.
  4. CWIS needs to acknowledge the need for upskilling LTA highways engineers. Active Travel England could usefully provide an advice and guidance centre and library that recognises an embedded Highways culture that may struggle with new Active Travel priorities. Funding needs to cover some resources for project development and community engagement.
  5. The LCWIP development programme was a good one, if a little complex. West Sussex’ atypical model of sharing the DfT support with its districts and borough authorities has been effective in enabling full LCWIP network plans, skills, knowledge and sense of ownership to be developed within several 2nd tier authorities in one hit. Crucially, funding to local planning authorities is needed to ensure land use planning has active travel at its heart in a realistic and practical way rather than as an aspirational principle. This work tends to rely on the LTA response to planning applications. Targeted funds and training for (largely 2nd tier) LPAs could enable more effective S106 leverage and better travel network integration.
  6. Capital for infrastructure needs to be prioritised as poor safety and functionality are key reasons that people do not cycle, not lack of cycle skills. However, guidance and training should be funded for local policy and delivery officers. Funds for other agencies supporting this work, including non-transport authorities and voluntary sector bodies would be important in developing appropriate and high quality schemes and ensuring working partnerships, such as with local business or other major partners for potentially contentious proposals. Active Travel England needs to be well funded to be a key support for guidance as well as enforcer.
  7. Highways England and HS2 need to raise the bar with their associated active travel infrastructure and see its relevance more widely applied than simply along their routes. Highways England, at least, needs to recognise that active travel access to rail stations and other key destinations away from their road developments and facilities are sometimes not best placed alongside a busy A road if it is to appeal to any other than hardened cyclists. Active Travel England needs to have an overseeing role with the bigger transport infrastructure projects.
  8. Fund distribution needs to recognise associated work such as traffic flow modelling for LTNs or other area treatments.
  9. Experience in the UK, Netherlands, Belgium and elsewhere shows that there is always resistance to change, but this dissipates in the face of effective schemes. A good evidence base for developing schemes, effective community engagement (rather than agreement) and committed political leadership will win over public support. Government campaigns, much in the style of smoking or seatbelt wearing would be useful to help normalise active travel culture and provision of targeted guidance on community engagement and to ensure positive local messages can go a long way. Watered down schemes to accommodate negative community feedback is a massive waste of money and achieves very little.
  10. Messaging to LTA council members, who have to give approval for active travel proposals, is key.
  11. Target health organisations. As large employers, key destination sites and major public influencers they are important, however there is a serious current deficit in ‘walking the talk’ in the NHS, relative to public health messages. Hospitals and other medical centres are generally have very poor active travel access and there seems to be little organisational engagement in terms of transport planning with local authorities.
  12. Talk to authorities and community representatives in Ghent, Groningen, Copenhagen to find out how they did it!
  13. We have to stop glamorising cars, particularly in advertising, much in the way that cigarette advertising was restricted. While SUVs are aspirational and their promotion misrepresents reality, particularly by engendering a sense of safety, people will go for them. While infrastructure and messaging favours car use, cars will predominate. Even good cycle infrastructure does not shift people out of their cars while motor vehicle infrastructure is favourable, witness Stevenage and Milton Keynes. Car demand management and ‘locking in’ modal shift trends.
  14. Review of highways design rules to permit infra changes that has been shown to work in other countries, including degrees of flexibility without compromising safety. Sometimes ‘safety’ considerations are used to block change unnecessarily. Review constraints on use of zebra crossings, signals priority and rigid space standards at junctions amongst many others. Active travel priority and safe, easy active travel sends a better message to achieve behaviour change than exhortations to do the right thing.
  15. The importance of wider road network measures being inextricably linked with cycle and walking infra really needs to be highlighted and there is a danger that LTAs simply looking for opportunities to develop cycle routes where there is space and money takes precedence, rather than addressing the whole mobility and access picture in cities, towns and even villages. This means that developing LTNs and ‘mini-Hollands’ are really key as practical, holistic sets of measures. They need to be promoted with a wider regeneration and healthy neighbourhood approach to engage business and resident communities rather than as simply transport improvements. These neighbourhood measures also need the local understanding and vision that exists at local district and borough planning authority level. Government support and guidance for tools for engagement and messaging would aid this significantly.

 


 

Cycling UK

 

Cycling UK was founded in 1878 and has over 70,000 members. Historically known as ‘CTC’ or the ‘Cyclists’ Touring Club’, Cycling UK’s central charitable mission is to make cycling a safe, accessible, enjoyable and ‘normal’ transport option and leisure activity for people of all ages and abilities.

 

BACKGROUND

 

We are pleased to contribute to this very timely inquiry by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Cycling and Walking into funding for active travel.

 

It comes as the Department for Transport (DfT) works towards publishing a second Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS2), following the Treasury’s multi-year Spending Review which is due to take place later this year. The Spending Review had originally been planned for Autumn 2020, but was postponed due to the funding uncertainties caused by both Brexit and the Covid pandemic. Hence DfT’s plans for a new multi-year CWIS2 (as required by the Infrastructure Act 2015) were inevitably also delayed.

 

When the Government published its first CWIS (CWIS1) in April 2017, Cycling UK welcomed its vision, and particularly the guidance it provided to councils on planning comprehensive local cycling and walking ‘networks’ (rather than disconnected individual schemes), known as Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs). However, we voiced disappointment that CWIS1 comprised just £314m of earmarked funding for cycling and walking over the 5 years 2016/17 to 2020/21 (see breakdown). Apart from 8 cities which received ‘Cycle City Ambition Grant’ funding, most councils received no earmarked funding to deliver their LCWIPs.

 

More positively, CWIS1 set out an initial aspiration to secure around £900m of additional non-earmarked funding. In practice DfT has done much better than this, by securing funding from sources such as the Transforming Cities Fund, Housing Infrastructure Fund and Future High Streets Fund. However we have continued to voice concern that the level of funding available is insufficient to meet the targets set in CWIS1. Moreover, uncertainties over the funding available have hampered local authorities’ ability to plan (let alone deliver) ambitions cycling and walking network plans.

 

TRANSPORT DECARBONISATION AND TARGET-SETTING

 

Preparation for both the Spending Review and CWIS2 takes place against the background of the ongoing cross-departmental ‘Net Zero’ review (led by the Treasury), and the newly-published Transport Decarbonisation Plan (TDP) which will now feed into this.

 

In March 2020, DfT had paved the way for its ‘call for evidence’ to inform the TDP, by publishing its document ‘Decarbonising Transport: setting the challenge’. The document’s foreword from Transport Secretary Grant Shapps MP set out an admirable 6-point vision, including his aspiration that:

 

“Public transport and active travel will be the natural first choice for our daily activities. We will use our cars less…”

 

Cycling UK strongly welcomed this statement, and its apparent recognition of the clear evidence-base(which is still growing) that decarbonising surface transport, with the urgency demanded by the climate crises, cannot be achieved solely by electrifying our vehicle fleet. For this, we need fewer cars, not just newer cars.

 

Cycling UK’s response to the TDP consultation therefore highlighted the need for:

 

  • Traffic reduction targets that are in line with the Government’s wider ‘net zero’ target;
  • Targets for increases in sustainable alternatives (including not travelling, as well as cycling etc) that are in line with these traffic reduction targets; and
  • Funding allocations that are in line with these targets.

 

There is much in the TDP that Cycling UK strongly welcomes – see blog. Yet regrettably, these three key ingredients are missing, with the result that, overall, the TDP lacks clear direction. If its purpose was to pave the way for a future in which “We will use our cars less”, the TDP ought to have spelled out how much less, by when, and how transport funding would be reallocated to meet these goals.

 

In this respect, the UK government is lagging behind the Scottish and Welsh governments, not to mention the advice it is receiving from its statutory advisors on climate change, and indeed the views of think-tanks from across the political spectrum. It is also lagging behind public opinion:

 

  • The Scottish Government recently announced a target to reduce car-kilometres by 20% by 2030, while the Welsh Government’s recent Wales Transport Strategy aims to increase the proportion of trips made by walking, cycling or public transport from 32% in 2019 to 47% by 2040.
  • The 6th Carbon Budget report from the Committee on Climate Change (CCC, the Government’s statutory advisory body on meeting its climate targets) called for action to reduce demand for car travel by 6% by 2030, increasing to 17% by 2050. Its more recent 2021 Progress Report to Parliament calls for funding “to be rebalanced away from cars … and towards public transport and walking and cycling”.
  • Think tanks ranging from IPPR to CEBR and Policy Exchange have all published reports calling for various forms of road pricing, as has AA President Edmund King.
  • The Climate Assembly, a demographically representative ‘citizens jury’, supported action to reduce road traffic levels in absolute terms.
  • Recent polling by Ipsos MORI found that public support for urban road user charging has increased hugely over the past 13 years, from 33% in 2007 to 62% in 2020. Support is roughly equal among drivers and non-drivers, and is even higher among ‘captains of industry’. Public support rises higher still if the receipts are used to improve air quality or public transport, or to tackle climate change – whereas it falls sharply if they are simply returned to drivers in the form of lower vehicle taxes.

 

FUNDING: HOW MUCH IS NEEDED AND HOW SHOULD IT BE SPENT?

 

More positively, the TDP restates a commitment, announced in May 2020, to allocate £2bn of funding for cycling and walking over the next 5 years. This was drawn from a wider £5bn of funding for “cycling and buses”, which the Prime Minister had announced in February 2020.

 

The £2bn amounts to a very welcome 6-fold increase in earmarked funding for cycling and walking compared with the £314m allocated in CWIS1. Nonetheless, it still falls a long way short of what is needed to meet DfT’s own CWIS1 targets to double cycling trips and increase walking by 2025. We understand that unpublished research, commissioned by DfT from consultants Transport for Quality of Life, finds that meeting these targets would require spending of between £6bn and £8bn by that date. DfT has previously promised to publish this research (initially in February, then more recently in June), but has now declined a FoI request to do so, saying that this could pre-empt funding decisions to be made in the Spending Review.

 

We urge the APPGCW to support Cycling UK’s calls for ministers to release this report, and act on it. We believe it will spell out the case for securing at least £6bn for active travel over the period 2020/1 to 2024/5.

 

Achieving this level of funding need not require an overall increase in transport spending – nor does all of it need to come directly from central Government. Increased investment in cycling and walking (and other sustainable transport options) can be achieved by:

 

  • Using fuel duty and other pricing measures, both to reduce demand for road travel and also as an income stream to invest in healthy and sustainable alternatives; and
  • Rebalancing transport spending, away from large road and other major infrastructure projects, and towards clean, healthy and low-carbon alternatives. The latter are generally much better value for money, providing far greater benefits and far fewer disbenefits. These benefits include tackling urban congestion and pollution; creating safer, more efficient and more vibrant streets and communities, promoting healthy living and a better quality of life, as well as tackling the climate crisis. The TDP promises to review the ‘National Networks’ National Policy Statement (NN-NPS), which effectively allows Ministers to grant themselves planning permission for major road and rail infrastructure projects. Given the overwhelming economic, environmental and legal case for scaling back the £27.4bn Roads Investment Strategy, a review of the programme cannot come soon enough.
  • Drawing on non-ringfenced funding schemes. As noted previously, DfT has proved very adept at securing additional active travel funding from sources such as the Transforming Cities Fund etc. One disadvantage of these non-ringfenced funding-streams is that they do not provide the long-term continuity and certainty that local authorities need to draw up and adopt ambitious long-term cycling and walking network development plans. However, they are a pragmatic way forward.

 

The majority of investment in cycling and walking (around 70-80% of it) needs to be capital spending, earmarked for local authorities to implement their Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs). These should include protected cycle lanes, 20mph schemes, ‘low traffic neighbourhoods’, ‘mini-Hollands’ and ‘school streets’ schemes (all of which are advocated in ‘Gear Change’), as well as urban realm improvements.

 

Further capital investment should be earmarked for: cycling and walking improvements along and across the corridors of the Strategic and Major Road Networks (the SRN and the MRN) and the HS2 rail scheme; the National Cycle Network (NCN); for improved provision for combining cycling and rail or bus travel; and to support the introduction of bike share schemes. We also highlight the opportunities to use post-Brexit agricultural subsidies to invest in improvements to the quality and extent of the rights of way network, particularly by filling gaps in the network (or the parts of the network that are available for cycling), and by improving the lighting and surfacing of parts of the network which are most useful for day-to-day (as well as recreational) cycling and walking.

 

This capital investment should be complemented by revenue investment, accounting for around 20-30% of total spending on cycling and walking. This should be used to support:

 

The ‘Behaviour Change’ section of this submission (below) outlines evidence of the effectiveness of these measures, not only in boosting cycle use but also in broadening the demographic diversity (age, sex, ethnicity, health, physical and mental abilities etc) of those who are attracted to take up cycling.

 

See Appendix B for a detailed proposed 5-year breakdown of funding.

 

LOCAL AUTHORITY CAPACITY: BOOSTING AND ‘LEVELLING UP’ DESIGN AND DELIVERY STANDARDS

 

We understand that one obstacle to increasing active travel investment to the level required is a concern in the Treasury that local authorities may struggle to spend even £2bn, let alone the £6bn or £8bn we believe is needed. This is understandable, particularly in areas which have low cycle use and which have historically failed to invest in the staff capacity to plan and deliver high-quality walking and cycling networks, let alone in the infrastructure itself.

 

It has not helped that, having announced the Government’s intention to spend £2bn over 5 years and allocated £250m of that funding in year 1 of that period (2020/1, along with £50m of carried-over revenue funding), the Government then announced a total of just £257m of funding (£190m capital plus £67 revenue) for year 2. This was effectively a 15% cut in funding, at a time when the Government really needed to be ramping up its funding allocations to achieve the annual average of £400m per year implied by the £2bnannouncement, and hence the capacity of local authorities to spend this level of funding.

 

Hence we now fear that a failure by the Treasury to allocate the £6-8bn needed to meet DfT’s targets could prove self-fulfilling (by depriving local authorities of the opportunity to boost their active travel delivery capacity), with the result that these targets may now not be met. Worse still, if the Government only realises mid-way through next year that it is not on course to meet its 2025 targets (having allocated insufficient funding in years 1 and 2), it will then have missed its one ‘fiscal event’ opportunity (i.e. this autumn’s Spending Review) to redress this situation.

 

A crucial step for resolving this situation is to establish Active Travel England as quickly as possible, allocating a small proportion of the £2bn for this purpose. It could then start fulfilling its role in supporting local authorities to spend the rest of the £2bn and more, and to spend it well (e.g. on infrastructure that accords with DfT’s excellent Cycle Infrastructure Design guidance).

 

Meanwhile, Cycling UK is partnering with charities Sustrans and Living Streets to deliver a DfT-funded programme to support local authorities in preparing and delivering strong LCWIPs. As part of this, we will be drafting a revision to the current LCWIP guidance. Whilst the original guidance was mostly very good, there are now several improvements that can be made in the light of subsequent developments and experience:

With more funding now available, we want to encourage local authorities to plan more ambitious LCWIPs. They need to extend beyond the ‘easy wins’ of city-centric, commuter-focussed networks, partly to meet a wider range of journey needs (e.g. shopping and school travel – and in the process to address the needs of a wider demographic range of would-be cycle users), partly to extend into more rural areas (particularly as DfT prepares to launch a substantial e-bike support project). We also want to strengthen the guidance on community engagement and the presentation of LCWIPs.

 

BEHAVIOUR CHANGE: BROADENING THE DEMOGRAPHIC OF CYCLE USERS

 

There is good evidence that cycle training, and other behaviour-change programmes in schools, workplaces and community settings, can be highly cost-effective ways to boost cycle use, particularly among groups such as women, older people, BAME communities, health patients and people with disabilities.

 

Cycling UK’s Big Bike Revival (BBR), Community Clubs and Cycling for Health projects, run with support from DfT, have consistently demonstrated their effectiveness– and cost-effectiveness – in boosting cycle use particularly among groups.

 

  • The Big Bike Revival (cyclinguk.org/bigbikerevival) has been run since 2015 in conjunction with local bike-recycling projects and similar social enterprises, with support from DfT. It involves open days where people are encouraged to bring along bikes that have lain unused, which often need a simple fix.  They are offered free cycle checks, servicing, cycle maintenance workshops, cycle training and accompanied rides. 46% of participants in Big Bike Revival events in England were non-regular cyclists, almost half were women and 46% were from the top 30% most deprived areas in the country.
  • Community Clubs (cyclinguk.org/community-cycle-clubs) are run in partnership with a wide variety of community groups, whether for women, health patients, people with disabilities or other disadvantaged groups. They offer longer-term support for people interested in taking up cycling, for whatever reason.  They can often be formed in the aftermath of a Big Bike Revival project.  We have set up over 200 clubs in England and Scotland, which have attracted 50,000 participants.  Half of them were women, 53% are from the most deprived three deciles of neighbourhoods, 56% are from BAME backgrounds and 50% or attendees are non-regular cyclists on joining.  20% of participants have a disability or long-term health condition and 30% are inactive, meaning they were not doing 30 minutes of exercise per week prior to joining the club.
  • Our Cycling for Health project (cyclinguk.org/community-outreach/health) is a potential prototype of how the Government’s ‘social prescribing’ scheme could work. It has been run through 8 ‘cycling hubs’ throughout West Yorkshire, with support from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. It enables people with inactivity-related physical and mental health conditions to take up cycling as part of a sociable and supportive group. The majority of participants are now referred to the programme by local health professionals. Of the programme’s 270 direct beneficiaries, 56% were from recognised areas of deprivation with 31% coming from the highest decile of deprivation.  78% were female and 28% identified as being of non-white ethnicity. 90% were previously non-cyclists, yet 68% were still cycling regularly (i.e. more than once a week) 6 weeks after the programme had ended.  Participants said they felt more confident, more relaxed, closer to other people, better able to think clearly and deal with problems, and more optimistic about the future.

We urge DfT and the Treasury to reflect the importance of such revenue-funded behaviour change programmes, both in the Spending Review and the 2nd Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy which will follow it.

 

CROSS-GOVERNMENT SUPPORT FOR CYCLING

 

Aside from policies and funding allocations directly relating to cycling and walking, there are a number of ways in which wider Government policy needs to support active travel, in order to maximise its benefits across a wide range of policy areas (health, climate, air quality, access to nature and strengthening the rural economy), as follows:

 

  • Wider transport policies need to support the growth of public and shared transport, to promote traffic restraint both (through physical measures such traffic calming and cycle-permeable road closures to reduce speeding and rat-running) and through various pricing mechanisms. Road user charging can help not only by directly reducing demand for road travel but also by yielding funding to invest in sustainable transport alternatives. Road pricing can therefore combine both ‘carrot’ and ‘stick’. As noted earlier, polling evidence shows substantial increases public support for urban road pricing in recent years.

 

  • Integrating active travel with public transport. In terms of cycling, this should involve:
    • Providing safe and convenient cycle access to, from within and through stations
    • Safe, secure, accessible and well-designed cycle parking at stations, together with hire and storage facilities at larger stations
    • Providing formal and informal cycle spaces on trains
    • Developing convenient ticketing and reservation systems
    • Information and publicity
    • Supporting large cycling events
    • Stakeholder engagement
    • Monitoring and review of what is working.

For more, see Cycling UK’s response to the Williams Rail Review.

 

 

 

  • The Government’s forthcoming planning reforms (as set out in its Planning White Paper) need amending to avoid entrenching car-dependence in new housing and other developments. This involves:
    • Ensuring that any new zoning, environmental assessment and other policies help concentrate development in locations with good access to public transport;
    • Building to relatively high densities, in order to reduce cycling and walking distances and create space for walking, cycling and a green and pleasant urban environment;
    • Creating high-quality pedestrian and cycle-friendly route networks within the development, good links with other key destinations nearby, and good access to green open space within the development and the surrounding countryside;
    • Ensuring that any new mechanisms for developer contributions secure the funding necessary to provide whatever cycling, walking and other sustainable transport infrastructure is needed to avert the risk of car-dependence.

For more, see Cycling UK’s response to the Planning White Paper and these three blogs.

 

  • Rural policy and outdoor access. The Environment Bill, and the Environmental Land Management (ELM) schemes which will follow it, present significant opportunities to improve off-road access for walking, cycling and horse-riding. This is timely, for three reasons. Firstly, the Government is about to announce funding to boost the uptake of e-bikes. Secondly, it is also preparing to unveil its Rural Transport Strategy, which was subject to consultation last year (see Cycling UK’s response). Taken together, these ‘hooks’ provide opportunity to persuade people (and indeed councillors) in rural areas to consider cycling seriously as a rural transport option. Thirdly, the experience of lockdown has raised awareness of the physical and mental health benefits of having good access to nature. The Environment Agency has noted that “Equality of access to, and connection with, a healthy natural environment would save billions of pounds in healthcare costs and reduced economic activity every year.” Meanwhile the Government-commissioned Landscapes review (also known as the Glover review, which considered the management of National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty) called on the Government to “consider expanding open access rights in protected landscapes”. The 25 Year Environment Plan stressed the importance of improving public access to and connection with nature, while the Agriculture Act 2020 cites “access to and enjoyment of the countryside” as one of the purposes for which the Secretary of State can allocate agricultural subsidies, bringing public access into the scope of the Government’s aim to secure “public goods for public subsidies”. Hence there is a significant opportunity to improve the linkages between the planning and delivery of Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs, which have typically been focussed more on urban and utility cycling and walking trips) and Rights of Way Improvement Plans (RoWIPs, which are seen as more rural and more recreational). By linking the two more closely, it will become possible to make greater use of the rights of way network to address ‘utility’ journey needs (e.g. for children in villages to walk or cycle to the school in the nearest town), while also enabling people living or residing in a town to access the surrounding countryside.

 

  • Health, recreation and sport. Recognition of the value of cycling as a non-competitive sport, from Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Sport England, has increased markedly in recent years. However the Department of Health has said nothing about the role of active travel in its recent Obesity Strategy or its Physical Activity guidelines. This is a huge missed opportunity, particularly given the enthusiasm from the Department for Transport for an initiative to pilot cycling as a form of ‘exercise on prescription’ (see Gear Change page 36). There could be huge benefits from encouraging more GPs to encourage patients to take up cycling – and in some cases to refer them to ‘exercise on prescription’ schemes (such as Cycling UK’s ‘Cycling for Health’ programme – see above). Further benefits could come from the NHS itself becoming a Cycle-Friendly Employer, thus promoting cycling to its own workforce, and thus encouraging them to become role models of healthy travel.

 

 

  • Employers: One of the really interesting ideas in the newly-published Transport Decarbonisation Plan is the proposed ‘Commute Zero’ initiative, to enlist employers in promoting low or zero-carbon travel among their employees. Cycling UK urges the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to play an active role in supporting this, and are keen to explore how our Cycle-Friendly Employerprogramme can be integrated into it.

 

Roger Geffen

Policy Director, Cycling UK

roger.geffen@cyclinguk.org

APPENDIX A: SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS

 

Targets and Funding

 

  1. We support the current CWIS1 target to double cycling trips and increase walking to school by 2025. However we also support Living Streets’s call for a strengthened target to increase walking overall, raising the ambition to reach 365 trips per person annually by 2025.
  2. Gear Change set out an aim (repeated in the Transport Decarbonisation Plan) to increase walking to reach half of all trips in towns and cities by 2030. This sounds ambitious, however we are concerned that DfT has not managed to spell out how it will be defined or monitored, or what the current proportion of trips is (i.e. what is the baseline). We therefore urge clarity on the definition and baseline level of this aim, and evidence that it is in line with the levels of traffic reduction necessary to achieve net zero by 2050.
  3. Future target-setting needs to be evidence-based, with targets to increase cycling, walking and other sustainable transport modes linked to traffic reduction targets, which should in turn be linked to the Government’s wider ‘net zero’ targets.
  4. We understand that unpublished research shows that the funding needed to meet the CWIS1 targets is £6-8 billion (with £8bn achieving the targets in a way that boosts walking and cycling among a wider range of demographic groups and geographic areas, thereby yielding greater health, equality and climate benefits. We call on the Government to publish this research and to act on it.
  5. The ratio of capital to revenue funding should start at around 70:30, rising to 80:20 as the total amount of funding goes up (n.b. this means capital funding rises more steeply than revenue, it does not imply a cut in revenue funding). Detailed breakdowns are provided in Annex B, for 3 different funding scenarios.
  6. If the Government fails to find the £6-8bn which is apparently needed, and therefore finds it cannot meet the 2025 targets, they should not be dropped, but should instead be deferred slightly. The implied level of cycling is still less than 4% of trips, which is very modest compared with many continental countries.

 

Boosting local authority capacity, design standards and delivery capability

 

  1. Active Travel England should be established as soon as possible and should be well resourced to fulfil the many roles allocated to it.
  2. Meanwhile, DfT should make good use of the LCWIP support consortium (which comprises Sustrans, Living Streets and Cycling UK) to support local authorities in preparing increasingly ambitious Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs). These should now aim to meet a wider range of journey types, in a wider range of geographical areas (e.g. covering school and local shopping trips, and linking smaller towns with nearby settlements), rather than being focussed on city-centric commuting (which has largely been the priority up till now).
  3. This in turn will require greater integration of the processes and funding streams which support the LCWIP and RoWIP (Rights of Way Improvement Plan) processes, thereby extending LCWIPs out beyond urban areas into their rural hinterlands, with benefits for both rural utility and recreational cycling and walking.

 

Complementary policies

 

  1. Our proposed funding allocations should be backed by complementary transport policies (traffic restraint, road pricing, integration with public transport) and support from other Government departments (planning, environment, health, sport, home office and justice), as outlined in the final section of this submission.

APPENDIX B: FUNDING PROPOSALS UNDER 3 SCENARIOS

 

This appendix outlines proposals Cycling UK made in our submission to the (subsequently postponed) Spending Review in Autumn 2020.

 

We reflected the fact that, then as now, the Treasury had only committed £2bn of earmarked funding for cycling and walking. As noted earlier, this is more than a 6-fold increase in earmarked funding compared with the previous 5 year allocation (covering 2016/7 to 2020/1 – there was a 1-year overlap between the two funding periods). However, unless further funding is secured (whether from ring-fenced or non-ringfenced sources), this could end up being a reduction compared with the £2.4bn (including non-ringfenced funding) that was invested in the 5-year period up to April 2021.

 

We also reflected our understanding that the unpublished research, commissioned by DfT to assess what funding was required to meet its CWIS1 targets, estimated that the answer is between £6bn and £8bn. £6bn allows the target to be met, but it does so in a way that focuses on ‘easy wins’, which are not necessarily the most ‘beneficial wins’. £8bn also achieves a doubling of cycling trips, but with more of a focus on boosting cycle use among a wider demographic range of users (thereby yielding greater health and equality benefits) and more rural areas (this yielding greater climate benefits).

 

We therefore developed 3 funding scenarios, as described below.

 

Outline of scenarios

 

  • Scenario 1 considers how the £2bn already allocated could best be deployed to boost cycling and walking up to 2025, if no more funding were available. It focuses funding primarily in urban areas, particularly those which have a high capacity to spend it effectively. Inevitably though, these tend to be urban areas which already have relatively high levels of active travel, and populations who are relatively affluent and healthy. However we stress that it would not come close to meeting the Government’s LCWIP targets for 2025. It also performs poorly in terms of tackling economic and health inequalities.
  • Scenario 2, amounting to £6bn, could be expected to meet the Government’s targets, but its benefits are still concentrated in areas where active travel is already relatively high, and among relatively healthy and affluent population groups. Hence it still does not perform well in terms of ‘levelling up’ access to the health, environmental, well-being and economic benefits of active travel.
  • Scenario 3, amounting to £8bn, would meet the Government’s targets in a way that also distributes the benefits of active travel to more rural areas and to more areas of deprivation. It would therefore achieve significantly greater benefits for the health, wealth and well-being of disadvantaged areas, while achieving greater carbon reduction and other benefits by also boosting cycling in more rural areas.

 

The budget lines in all 3 scenarios are the same, with capital funding for local cycling and walking infrastructure attracting the lion’s share of the budget in all cases. However, we have assumed that the £2bn in scenario 1 comprises ring-fenced money only. Therefore the budget for this scenario does not show any provision for funding from the National Roads Fund (either for the Strategic or Major Road Networks, SRN or MRN), for HS2, or for Rights of Way improvements funded via the Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme. Otherwise, the proportions of the available budget vary between scenarios, as set out overleaf.

 

 

 

£2bn scenario  £6bn scenario £8bn scenario
CAPITAL: Local delivery
LCWIP implementation (incl. protected cycle lanes, low traffic neighbourhoods, mini-Hollands, school streets etc) 1,218 2,796 3,107
Major Road Network (MRN) 0 400 500
Rights of Way Improvement Plans (RoWIPs: funding through ELM scheme) 0 325 400
Cycle-bus measures 0 0 20
Bike share schemes 150 450 600
CAPITAL: National delivery
Strategic Road Network (SRN) 0 500 750
HS2 0 40 52
National Cycle Network (NCN) 100 300 400
Cycle-rail 45 50 60
CAPITAL: TOTAL 1,513 4,861 5,889
REVENUE: Local delivery
Cycle training: adults and children 150 300 400
School and workplace programmes 50 55 65
Social prescribing / health & community programmes 20 20 30
Bike share scheme support 47 134 191
REVENUE: National delivery 0 0
E-bike / e-cargo-bike and inclusive cycle purchase subsidies 200 600 1,425
Active Travel England / LCWIP support 20 30 40
REVENUE: TOTAL 487 1,139 2,111
TOTAL (£millions) 2,000 6,000 8,000

 


 

FACULTY OF PUBLIC HEALTH

• About Us
The Faculty of Public Health of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom is the body within the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges which has responsibility for public health specialist practice. As such it is the major professional body for consultants in public health (including Directors of Public Health). Our charitable objects are to promote knowledge in the field of public health, to assure the highest possible standards of professional competence and practice, and to act as an authoritative body for the purpose of consultation and advocacy concerning public health. Our Transport Special Interest Group is a member of the Partnership for Active Travel, Transport & Health, cooperates closely with the Transport & Health Science Group (some of whose information we have used with consent in this evidence) and seeks to apply the Faculty’s objects in the field of transport. Our members employed in local government are at the forefront of the contributions local government can make to health and hence are important advocates for active travel.

• Targets.
We would like to see more ambitious targets. The 1 in 6 deaths which arise from inadequate physical activity could be substantially reduced if the substantial majority of the population walked or cycled every day for at least ten minutes. We would like the UK first to catch up with and then to keep pace with the most successful active travel communities in the world, such as the Netherlands or Copenhagen.

• Overall level of funding.
The experience of cities which have successfully made walking and cycling a substantial component of their travel plans is that expenditure of £25-£30 per capita per annum is needed, equating for England to about £7.5bn over a Parliament (plus the Barnet consequentials for the devolved nations). This is in addition to money needed for backlog maintenance.
It is important that funding is secure over a multi-year settlement and not changed from year to year.
The Government is still committed to roadbuilding schemes. Most road schemes would not meet cost/benefit criteria without adding in a substantial element of benefit for reduction of congestion but it is now clear that new roads only reduce congestion temporarily; they attract additional traffic instead, by uncovering unmet demands for relocation. Much of the money committed to roadbuilding would be better spent on active travel and public transport.

• Capacity.
You ask “Do local authorities and other bodies have the capacity and skills needed to spend the funding allocations required to meet the Government’s targets (or any new ones)?
The first point we would make is that, as a result of the reductions in public health grant, specialist public health capacity in many local authorities has been reduced, limiting the capacity of public health specialists to spend time on advocating for a higher priority for travel.
Secondly, local authorities vary considerably in the extent to which their transport staff have taken on board the requirements of the new transport objectives. Transport planning needs to move from thinking about movement of vehicles to thinking about movement of people and then it needs to take a further step and think about the kinds of placemaking that will promote active travel and minimise motorised traffic. An example of the kind of outdated professionalism that needs to change is a local authority which turned down a proposal for a car-free development because it did not meet the normal requirements for car parking provision. Highways engineers who routinely think about cars first and other road users second are another example. On the other hand, some local authorities have adopted excellent strategies focused on placemaking and real adherence to prioritising active travel. Thirdly there is a general reluctance to make use of innovative street designs, which in part results from professional traditions but also from the nature of official street design guidance. This is unfortunate as they can be cheaper than traditional methods. In St. Louis they use large stone balls as obstacles for traffic calming. In New Zealand they encourage innovative street design and have tested various methods of encouraging drivers to give way to pedestrians finding that narrowing the road and painting stripes works as well as a zebra crossing. In Calgary they have used public art to make underpasses more inviting and have used public art actually on the street surface to encourage community use and separate cycle lanes from vehicular lanes. In the Netherlands car parking nose to kerb is used as an obstacle in traffic calming whilst living streets are designed by the residents who are encouraged to make provision for parking, for play and for community use, with the carriageway being merely the gaps between the obstacles. These methods are more effective and much cheaper than the methods commonly used in the UK.

You ask If not, how can this capacity be boosted, and how quickly can CWIS spending be ramped up?”
We suggest that an allocation of £20 per capita per annum be indicatively allocated to each local authority with provisions to bid for an additional sum of up to £10. However, the allocation should only be released to be spent on a plan agreed with Active Travel England. Active Travel England should have default powers to spend the money itself where the local authority fails to produce an acceptable plan and for that purpose should be able to exercise any of the powers of a highways authority.

You ask “What should be the role of Active Travel England? What resources will it need to fulfil this role?”
Firstly, we would make the point that it is important there is a public health input into

Active health Active

Travel England, with public health representation on its Board and public specialists who have a clear role in its decision-making processes. Travel England needs to be

o a regulator of transport strategies (for example, by controlling the release of funding in the way we have suggested above), for which purpose it will need a group of staff, perhaps drawn from the civil service, able to carry out this function

o a source of expertise and guidance, for which purpose it will need appropriate experts

o an advocate able to speak for active travel in public debate, for which purpose it will need a policy staff, probably drawn from a third sector background

o If it is to have default powers, as we suggested above, it will also need to have the project management capacity to exercise these.

• Breakdown of funding.
You ask “What should CWIS 2 funding be spent on – i.e. what programmes or initiatives should be funded?”
The priorities for funding should be

o The creation of complete cycling networks. According to Metcalfe’s Law (which approximates to reality, although it is not precise due to certain discontinuities) the utility of a network is proportional to the square of its size. Accordingly, one 100-mile network is sixteen times more useful than four 25- mile networks. Funding should be focused on creating and linking networks not on isolated schemes.

o Blocking rat runs with barriers which selectively allow the passage of pedestrians, cyclists, buses, emergency vehicles, residents of the immediate

 

local area and some other special types of traffic but do not allow the passage of ordinary traffic from outside the immediate neighbourhood. This would open up scope for community use of the street and would often create a long length of quiet street for cycling.

o Green attractive pedestrian routes, in which routes through parks or other greenspace would be linked by green streets, using street trees, gardens extending into the street, climbing plants on buildings and patches of green space. Research has shown that people will walk further along such routes.

o Cycle parking and cycle hubs
o Attractive pedestrian crossings where roads sever communities or pedestrian

routes
o Investment in the train/cycle combination, including the provision of cycle vans

on all passenger trains (which Cal Train in Northern California has shown to be highly successful)

You ask “How much capital and how much revenue?”
The initial need is predominantly for capital to create these networks and for funding to publicise the facilities that are created, but as time passes the balance will shift towards a need for revenue to maintain them.

You ask “How much of this capital and revenue should go to transport/highway authorities, to Active Travel England, to the voluntary sector, to Highways England and HS2 Ltd, etc, and how much should be spent by government directly?”
There should be an allocation to the National Cycle Network and an allocation to improve canal towpaths. Highways England should receive an allocation to improve pedestrian and cycle crossings of trunk roads, and a similar allocation should be made to Great British Railways to reduce the community severance effect of railways. There should be an allocation to Great British Railways to provide cycle vans on all passenger trains. The rest of the money should go to Active Travel England, some of it to support national promotional campaigns but most of it to support the local programme funding which we have already described. Consultation with stakeholders should be a requirement for funding of local programmes and there would be capacity within the local programmes for third sector involvement.

You ask “How can government maximise the opportunities for its funding allocations to leverage in additional funding from other sources?”
Social prescribing has an important role in promoting active travel.

There are many co-benefits to active travel and these need to be recognised in order to tap appropriate funding.

  • Public and political acceptability.
    Opinion polls show that the majority support schemes such as lower speeds and low traffic neighbourhoods. Unfortunately, the minority who do not are organised, vociferous and fact-averse. They need to be challenged.
  • Behaviour change.
    You ask “What combination of schemes and policies will provide the basis for a substantial and lasting shift towards active travel?”
    Most people do not choose to use a car. They do not perceive a choice because, outside London, the alternatives simply are not there. We need comprehensive cycle networks, walking networks and public transport networks. They need to be well- publicised.
    The attractive lifestyles that can be created by living streets are not widely appreciated in advance by people who have not experienced them. In some other countries there have been attempts to use virtual reality to overcome this.We believe that the cost of motoring should be shifted from the ownership of vehicles to their use, so as to encourage more selective use. Use of motor vehicles can be taxed by a combination of increased fuel duty and introduction of road charges. These need not be an anti-motorist measure if they were linked to lower levels of other motoring taxes and costs. Fees charged to motorists (such as MOT fees) and taxes on motoring items (such as VAT on car maintenance or car accessories) could be reduced or abolished as part of the process of offsetting the increased fuel duty and road charges. Insurance is another major cost which is not directly related to mileage and the Treasury could provide a third party, passenger liability, fire and theft insurance policy automatically to every car (with a higher excess for drivers with a poor record), and fund that through road charges and increased fuel duty. This would shift a major fixed cost onto mileage-related payments and abolish the problem of uninsured drivers, as all drivers would be automatically insured and would pay for their basic insurance through road charges and fuel duty. It could be administered through existing insurance companies. Insurers could compete to offer top-up insurance (such as insurance of excesses, overseas cover, breakdown cover or provision of comprehensive cover). Claims on the Treasury from those who take out top up insurance would be processed through their insurance company. Claims on those who do not take out top up insurance would be allocated to insurance companies in rotation, in proportion to their share of the top-up market, with the Treasury paying them an administration fee for administering the claim.

• Wider policy support.
The following support policies are needed

o Highways England need to discontinue its current approach to infilling old railway bridges and tunnels as this obstructs the expansion of cycle networks, railway reopening and greenways

o Great British Railways needs to be very much more selective in its programme of removing pedestrian level crossings. Crossings should be closed only where a genuinely short diversion, not involving use of a busy road, is possible. For other crossings GBR should be more willing to build a bridge, to use a signal-controlled crossing or to accept small risks where they are no greater than those of crossing a lightly-used road.

o The 2026 cut off date for claiming historic rights of way should not be applied except where the local authority has carried out a comprehensive review of its definitive map.

o Planning policies need to shift developers away from their current failure to consider green walls, green roofs, and living streets. If new permitted development rights are created under the new planning system, they should be conditional on green roofs (or roof gardens or solar panels), green walls and a living street design for any new street. Planning authorities should be prohibited from turning down proposals for green-enveloped buildings on the grounds of “not fitting with adjacent properties” except in unusual circumstances such as an attractive architecturally-distinctive conservation area. Schemes which create new streets without using a living street design should automatically be called in for this to be justified. Green roofs and green walls should figure on the planning form and planning authorities should never be at risk of costs for requiring them.

o Women in particular, but also some men, are scared of waiting at quiet bus stops or on quiet railway platforms or of passing through quiet passages. Attention needs to be paid to this. Lighting, and monitored CCTV can offer considerable reassurance.

• Walking as much as cycling.

Walking is not difficult to cater to. It requires the creation of a comprehensive aesthetically-attractive walking network and safe crossings of main roads. This requires a different thought process from just building a facility. It also requires funding of a lot of small actions such as planting some trees, changing the programme of some traffic lights, establishing a path across a field, putting in a pedestrian crossing, which do not amount to a “project” for funding. The financial facility needs to be able to fund widespread small improvements to a network as if they collectively amounted to a project.

  • Levelling up.
    Our proposals for indicative per capita funding of local areas would meet the requirement for levelling up. However, this will only work if the overall funding is adequate. Whilst overall funding has been inadequate it has been better to allow some authorities to demonstrate what can be done. That needs to move on – but by levelling up not by spreading more thinly.
  • Justice and inclusion.
    One of the obstacles to walking and cycling in deprived neighbourhoods is that those neighbourhoods tend to be less green and less attractive to walk in. Sometimes they are also less safe. There are ways to measure walkability and a goal of a transport strategy focused on placemaking would be to improve the walkability of the less walkable neighbourhoods.
  • Decarbonising transport.
    There is currently no public health representation on the Zero Carbon Transport Board, despite the Transport & Health Science Group having made detailed proposals.
  • The relationship between central and local government. Programme and project management.
    Our proposals for Active Travel England take account of this.

Hull Carbon Neutral 2030

Hull Carbon Neutral 2030 (HCN2030) is a community group with the goal of “..engaging the people of Hull in the Council’s commitment for Hull to be carbon neutral by 2030. The group exists to help and monitor the transition to carbon neutrality.” HCN2030 is one of two public groups invited to contribute to the development of decarbonisation pathways by Kingston upon Hull City Council and East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

In 2020, HCN2030 published a report “The Contribution of Cycling to Hull’s
Carbon Neutral 2030 Commitment”, which is accessible from the link provided in the references, [1]. The report contains a large number of references to evidence the statements made. The report includes the following extracts:

“Fear of being struck by a motor vehicle is identified as the largest barrier to cycle use. .. Police indifference to offences where cyclists are victims is also a large deterrent to cycling in Hull. Other UK cities enforce laws against parking in cycle lanes, violation of cycle advance stop zones and dangerous overtaking. In Hull these offences are ubiquitous, especially by professional drivers, and the law unenforced. This is directly counter to commitments made in the Humberside Police and Crime Plan and dehumanises cyclists as worthless victims.”

Cyclists in Hull experience a “hostile environment” where offences against cyclists are ubiquitous and there is no enforcement by the police or council officers. Humberside has 500-600 reported cyclist casualties a year, with the unreported cases probably an order of magnitude higher. By comparison, there are about 400 violent crimes reported to Hull police per year. Traffic offences cause a similar amount of physical harm to cyclists as other categories of serious crime to other groups. Despite this, the police often portray traffic offences as trivial and a distraction from serious crime. The police are more like to commit offences against cyclists than to prevent them. This appears to be common across the UK, as described by daily posts in the Facebook site Stop Killing Cyclists, [2].

Cyclists face systematic verbal and physical abuse that would be a hate crime if the victim had a protected characteristic. I will provide two examples from my personal experience, although I believe these are typical for any assertive cyclist.

Example 1:

The first example is of the Council condoning dangerous and illegal parking near schools. During the period I have accompanied my primary aged children to school, I was struck three times by motorists and faced abuse most days. I complained to the Council many times and was ignored. I have seen Council civil enforcement officers walk past the scenes below. My children were too frightened to cycle to secondary school and chose to walk instead. This Council policy leads to car dependency cascading down the generations. Auckland Avenue, in Hull, has double yellow lines on the east and a single yellow line on the west. The single line highlights the prominent signs stating that there is no parking on the western side from 8AM to 6PM. It is commonly used by pupils of three nearby schools, two of them primary. Fig. 1A shows a typical scene at 3:45 PM. When cycling south with my children, it was a daily occurrence for motor vehicles to be deliberately driven head-on at us, on the wrong side of the road.