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Consumer confidence is up in the UK for the third month in a row, according to GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index.

24 Jun 2024

A cycle shop owner has criticised the police’s “abject apathy” towards bike theft after thieves attempted to break into his store for the second time in a year, on the same...

19 Jun 2024

Cytech-partner Activate Cycle Academy, which has specialist cycle maintenance training centres in Oxford, Guildford, Stafford and Darlington, will be exhibiting at this weekend’s York...

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Drop in cycling traffic due to government's "flawed" decision to slash active travel budget, it is claimed.

Posted on in Business News , Cycles News

New statistics showing a 5% fall in cycling from last year should be a “wake-up call for the government” and are due to the Government's "flawed" decision to slash the active travel budget, it has been claimed.

black and white picture of cycle

Cycling UK has called the latest findings "depressing” with the government lagging behind its target of doubling the number of cycling journeys by 2025.

The new figures were published by the Department for Transport (DfT). The decrease in cycling levels in England comes after the government decided to cut the active travel budget in March this year, described as a "backward move" by the Walking and Cycling Alliance at the time.

However, a recent inquiry by the National Audit Office into active travel in England confirmed Cycling UK’s claims that the government’s investment in active travel fell far short of what was needed to meet the 2025 walking and cycling targets – even before ministers made further cuts in March.

Duncan Dollimore, head of campaigns at Cycling UK said:  "These statistics should be wake up call for the government, which has already been told in crystal clear terms by the National Audit Office that it can’t meet its own targets without substantially increasing investment in active travel.

"Multiple government polices recognise the carbon reduction, public health, air pollution and economic benefits which flow from more people cycling and walking, particularly for short journeys. It’s therefore imperative that the government reflects on these figures, and urgently reverses the cuts in the Autumn Statement."

In July last year, the government announced that it will invest £3.78bn in active travel schemes until 2025 as part of its refreshed cycling and walking investment strategy.

Trudy Harrison, the minister formerly responsible for active travel, said that the increased funding was part of an "ambitious" strategy to ensure that half of all journeys in towns and cities will be walked or cycled by the end of the decade.

However, following the cuts, Cycling UK joined its partners in the Walking and Cycling Alliance and more than 146 other organisations, including Campaign for Better Transport and Asthma + Lung UK, to write to the prime minister highlighting the disproportionate level of cuts to funding for cycling and walking infrastructure.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also recently indicated a U-turn on his own government’s stated support for low traffic neighbourhoods, ironically one of the measures local authorities can implement to enable more people to walk and cycle safely, at a time when the government is slashing central funding because they are relatively cheap to introduce.

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