UK Government boosts active travel with £64m investment
Posted - January 27, 2017
The Government has once again shown significant support for sustainable travel with a £64m investment, the beginning of a £300m package to make active travel a part of everyday life in the UK by 2040.
This follows on from the Autumn Statement where the Cycle to Work scheme remained untouched and cited as a key health benefit for employees.
This initial investment is outlined to support 28 local projects for 3 years starting in 2017 with the ultimate goal to make cycling or walking the de-facto choice for short journeys. The funding will be channeled directly into local councils, charged with delivering sustainable transport initiatives that will help grow the economy by getting more people active.
A 2016 report showed that the Cycle to Work scheme delivers a substantial national economic benefit of £72m through reduced absenteeism, improved physical health and reduced healthcare costs (more than twice the 'cost' to the treasury in lost tax and NI through salary sacrifice).
The Cycle to Work scheme can be the cornerstone of an effective active travel plan by giving people access to quality equipment at a fraction of the retail price and this renewed commitment is a further boost to businesses looking to create a healthier, more active and productive workforce.
As a method of getting people back into cycling and generating new cyclists, the scheme is estimated to encourage over 9,000 non-cyclists per year as well as getting existing cyclists to cycle more (on average an extra 18 miles per week). So with the Government-backed cycle to work scheme creating new cyclists and funding in place to improve access and infrastructure the future for active travel looks bright.