Sustainable travel hit by funding uncertainty

A snapshot poll of councils in England with responsibilities for transport planning and passenger transport reveals the overwhelming majority have: introduced 20 mph zones; provided secure cycle parking and/or changing facilities; promoted cycling and/or walking through schools; and included sustainable travel within their local health and wellbeing strategy.

However, the survey reveals that the main obstacles to councils doing more to invest in sustainable travel are: lack of revenue funding (87 per cent for cycling/walking and 82 per cent for public transport); uncertainty over continued levels of funding (74 per cent for cycling/walking and 79 per cent for public transport); and a lack of capital funding (68 per cent for cycling/walking and for public transport).

By 2020, councils will have faced a reduction in core government funding of nearly £16 billion since 2010. The LGA estimates councils in England face a funding gap of almost £8 billion by 2025.

The LGA said long-term funding certainty for sustainable travel, such as cycling and walking initiatives, would help councils do more to promote exercise, which reduces obesity while also cutting car use, generating wider benefits around reducing congestion and emissions.

Cllr Judith Blake, LGA Transport Spokesperson, said: “Councils are working hard to reduce congestion on our roads and tackle air pollution in our communities. Good air quality is vital for our health and quality of life, as well as the environment.

“However, this survey makes clear that significant change is still needed. Uncertainty and a lack of revenue funding are highlighted as clear barriers to investment.”

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