Active travel bosses pen joint general election letter to The Times

This article was published in 2017, in Newsletter 132.

Dear Sir, As the general election approaches, we are asking all parties in their manifestos to encourage cycling and walking*. There is growing awareness that active travel can help tackle traffic congestion and cut dangerous air pollution. As the general election approaches, we are asking all parties in their manifestos to encourage cycling and walking. Up to 40,000 early deaths are attributable to air pollution each year in the UK and road motor transport is responsible for 80% of the pollution where legal limits are being broken. A sedentary lifestyle is also raising our risk of suffering many long-term illnesses, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes. And creating liveable places is vital to thriving businesses, jobs and our standard of living.

Our key proposals are:

  • a commitment to a new Clean Air Act to tackle air pollution
  • a commitment to invest in improving local roads from the planned Roads Fund that will use the revenues of Vehicle Excise Duty from 2020-21
  • reaffirm the commitments in the UK Government’s Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy for England. (These are, by the year 2025, to double cycling journeys to 1.6 billion per year; increase walking journeys to 300 per person per year; and ensure 55% of children aged 5 to 10 walk to school.)

All major parties have expressed good will towards cycling and walking. These are practical steps to help liberate people to enjoy active travel whilst tackling clogged up roads, harmful pollution, neglected neighbourhoods and our health crisis.

Yours sincerely
CHRIS BOARDMAN, Policy Advisor, British Cycling
PHILLIP DARNTON, Executive Director, Bicycle Association
STEPHEN JOSEPH, Chief Executive, Campaign for Better Transport
PAUL TUOHY, Chief Executive, Cycling UK
JOE IRVIN, Chief Executive, Living Streets
VANESSA GRIFFITHS, Chief Executive Officer, Ramblers
XAVIER BRICE, Chief Executive, Sustrans

* Please note that only the text in ordinary type above was published by The Times in Letters to the Editor on 9 May 2017.
The text in italics was omitted.