MPs briefing paper cites promising future for active travel

Members of Parliament have been handed a briefing document on active travel, detailed the economic and social benefits as they prepare for a new era of cycling and walking.

The document explains a research-led investment case for growing cycling modal share and describes the wide-ranging health benefits, headlining with a reference to the positive net impact cycling for transport has on the National Health Service.

The physical and mental benefits of building active travel in a daily routine given in this Public Health England paper that supports the idea of building exercise into a transport routine, is included in the briefing too.

It says cycling as a ‘very high’ value for money investment, next up is the cost to benefit ratio that dispels many myths that provision for cycling comes at an economic expense. The reverse is indeed true, with a citation of the benefit of the ‘cycling economy’ to the UK measured at £2.9 billion, according to Cycling Industry News.

The paper says the estimated 5.62:1 ratio of return on investment. The evidence comes from the Department for Transport’s own assessment of the direct and indirect benefits, as pinned to the roll out of Sustainable Travel Town programmes than ran from 2004-2009.

Discussions on funding may be a point of interest for many MPs thinking seriously on developing active travel in their constituencies. References are given to recommendations banded about over the years, most notably a cross-party parliamentary cycling group’s report that included a call for the Government to create a cycling budget of £10 per person per year, increasing to £20. The Transport Select Committee in its July 2014 report, agreed calling for a cycling budget of £10 per head by 2020, according to the report.

The full briefing document can be read here: Cycling, walking and mobility: FAQs for 2020

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