Sophie Wilkinson | Contributing Editor | Friday, 23 January 2015

Your Commute Could Get A Whole Lot Easier Thanks To This

The Debrief: The Government's is supporting us walking and cycling. FINALLY!

Do you cycle or walk any of your journey to work? No? That's ridiculous, you say? It's about minus a billion outside - and for the first time ever it's actually quite nice to shuffle onto a tube/commuter train and feel the warmth of all the other bodies! 

But, if you walk or cycle at any point of the year, at any time of day, especially the commute, that part of your life could get way easier as dedicated money for cyclists' and pedestrians' use of roads, train stations and car parks could be written into law.

At the moment, the very dry-sounding Infrastructure Bill means that MPs have to think a lot about railways and highways when it comes to planning and maintaining infrastructure. But now the government has added a 'cycling and walking investment strategy' which the House of Lords will then decide on on Monday. This move would have health benefits, reduce congestion and remove every single horrible crater-y pot-hole from the land.

Patrick McLoughlin, the transport secretary, introduced the amendment, which says: 'A cycling and walking investment strategy must specify objectives to be achieved during the period... And the financial resources to be made available by the secretary of state for the purpose of achieving those objectives.'

In practical terms, this means the government will be under pressure to spend 3% of its transport budget on cycling. It sounds like nothing, but it's actually £400 million.

Julian Huppert, who is the Lib Dem co-chairman of the all-party parliamentary cycling group, told The Times (who have been campaigning for increased safety and space for cyclists for a few years now) 'I am really delighted the government is writing in law the cycling and walking investment strategy. It is the right thing to improve health, the environment and congestion.'

Who knows, if the amendment passes, maybe the government will put some of that money towards the invention of cycling helmets that contain fold-up heated blankets…

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Picture: Anna Jay

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