Chris Boardman: Infrastructure Bill changes a massive step in right direction

For the first time ever, the Government will have a legal obligation to implement a cycling and walking investment strategy

Chris Boardman

British Cycling’s policy advisor, Chris Boardman, says an amendment to the Infrastructure Bill means cycling as a mode of transport can no longer be ignored.

The amendment was agreed on today by the Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and results in a legal obligation on the government to come up with a Cycling and Walking investment strategy.

The Department for Transport will be obliged to set targets and investment for cycling and will have to ensure funds are secured to promote active transport.

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Boardman said on the BC website: “Transforming the way Britain travels is not something we can do overnight but this amendment represents a massive shift in thinking and most importantly, commitment. It brings us one step closer to realising our vision for a cycling nation.

“If passed, this Bill will mean that cycling can no longer be ignored as a legitimate form of transport. It makes the transport secretary directly responsible for setting targets and putting in investment.

“And this isn’t just about roads, it could require railway stations, offices and retail parks to all accommodate the needs of people on bikes. I expect all MPs and peers do the right thing and vote through this amendment.

"This truly is a fantastic move and is one that reflects the actions we called for in our #ChooseCycling action plan, launched in parliament last year. British Cycling’s 100,000-strong membership, and everyone who rides a bike, should see this as the start of something really exciting.”

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Julian Huppert, Liberal Democrat MP and Co-Chair of the all party parliamentary cycling group, added: “I am really delighted that the government has seen the force of our argument and is writing into law the cycling and walking investment strategy.

“It is the right thing to improve health, the environment and congestion.

“My huge thanks go to all the MPs who signed my original amendment, all the people who contacted their MPs to persuade them to support it and the coalition of organisations who have helped to get this outcome.”

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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.