17 December 2015
The Department for Transport has today (17 December) published its first cycling and walking investment strategy, claiming it wants walking and cycling to become the natural choice for shorter journeys.
Brake, the road safety charity, has welcomed this approach from the government, but is seriously concerned that without investment the strategy could languish on a shelf in Whitehall.
Gary Rae, director of communication and campaigns for Brake, said: "As always, it’s the Treasury that rules the roost, not, alas, the Department for Transport. The money isn’t there: the Chancellor’s autumn statement included £300m for cycling and walking between now and 2021. This is a 58% cut compared with projected spending of £142m just for cycling in 2015/16 alone.”
“There’s a massive £15B investment in roads building: we think some of that ought to be re-directed towards making this strategy work. We’ll work with the transport department on this. Encouraging people out of their cars and on to foot and bike is healthier for them and our planet – a theme we adopted for last month’s Road Safety Week.”
Brake is a national road safety charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaigns, community education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.
Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.