Engineers have welcomed moves to increase the government’s focus on walking and cycling.
An amendment proposed for the Infrastructure Bill – which reaches its third reading in Parliament next week – would force transport secretaries to set a cycling and walking Investment strategy for England within reasonable timeframes.
The ICE said this strategy – which would have to state objectives as well as outline the funding required to meet them – could be used to improve infrastructure.
“The news that cycling and walking infrastructure will benefit from a more strategic approach, enshrined in statute, is an important step in the right direction,” said ICE cycling working group chairman John Parkin.
“It is encouraging that the government has learned from the successful experience with railway strategy – applying the lessons learned firstly to the strategic roads network, and now to cycling and walking.
“The cycling and walking investment strategy must be used to increase demands and expectations in delivering cycling infrastructure. This will be not only be good for current and potential cyclists, but will contribute to reduced congestion and emissions and improved public health.”
A coalition of campaigners for the legislation, including British Cycling, the Campaign for Better Transport and the British Heart Foundation, also welcomed the announcement.
“We are delighted to see the government demonstrating bold leadership by proposing a cycling and walking investment strategy as part of the Infrastructure Bill,” they said in a joint statement.
“It is a great opportunity to guarantee long term funding that will extend travel choice, help to ease congestion and improve our health and our environment.”