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ACTION PLANNED FOR WALKERS AND CYCLISTS

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A package of new measures to increase levels of cycling and walking ...
A package of new measures to increase levels of cycling and walking

was announced today by transport minister Kim Howells.

The measures form part of 'Walking & Cycling: an Action Plan', which

aims to promote these modes as healthy and convenient ways to travel.

The measures include:

* a programme of new links to extend the National Cycle Network to

hundreds of schools

* an investment of more than£500,000 to upgrade cycle provision at

200 rail stations

* improved promotion of walking and cycling both locally and

nationally, including a new web portal for those seeking information

on where, how and why to cycle

* better training in child pedestrian and cycling skills, including a

new National Standard for Child Cycle Training

* improved training for local authority transport staff in providing

for, and promoting, walking and cycling

* an amendment to the Traffic Management Bill, to make cycling safer

in towns and cities

Launching the action plan at the annual parliamentary bike ride, Kim

Howells said:

'I am delighted that we have been able to bring forward measures

which will make cycling and walking easier, safer and more

attractive. Walking and cycling offer tremendous health, transport

and social benefits, as well as being enjoyable means of getting

around. We want more people to choose to walk and cycle more often.

'The action plan, with more than 40 practical actions from across and

beyond government, is evidence of our commitment to walking and

cycling. It will help to provide an environment in which walking and

cycling are viable, enjoyable and safe. The amendment to the Traffic

Management Bill will help to ensure that cycle and walking routes and

crossings are kept free for cyclists and walkers to enjoy.

'Many children would rather walk or cycle to school than be driven

and we need to provide the routes to make walking and cycling a more

attractive option for both children and parents.

'And cycling to the station is a great option for many commuters, if

the facilities are right. The experience is that providing more and

better bike parking facilities at stations stimulates more cycling.'

Jane Tomlinson, who has recently completed a charity cycle tour

from Rome to Leeds said:

'I would fully support anyone who walks and cycles - any form of

exercise no matter how small can help everyone. A good network of

cycle lanes and pleasant places to walk will encourage more people

and I'm pleased that action to increase walking and cycling is being

taken.'

Notes

1. Walking and Cycling: An Action Plan is published on the DfT

website.

2. The Traffic Management Bill amendment will provide local

authorities with a power to impose penalty charges when vehicles are

driven in lanes reserved for cyclists and when pedestrian and cycle

crossings are blocked by parked vehicles. These are not new offences:

police already have the power to enforce these offences, but this

amendment would extend those powers to local authorities.

3. The department intends to introduce this new power next year.

Guidance will be issued for local authorities enforcement officers in

advance of the introduction of the new powers.

4. Since 2001 funding via the department's Local Transport Plan

process has provided more than 6,000km of new cycle routes. In

agreement with Sustrans, DfT will agree a programme of new safer

routes to school linked to the existing 8,000 mile National Cycle

Network. Despite its name, more than half of the users of the Network

are walkers.

5. DfT will also be providing more than£500,000 to upgrade cycle

parking facilities at 200 rail stations, in partnership with the rail

industry.

6. The Sustrans programme of new safer links to school will be a

further contribution by DfT to the£50m joint DfES/DfT Travelling to

School programme launched in September 2003.

7. Jane Tomlinson is a keen cyclist and charity fundraiser. She is

currently raising funds for the Jane Tomlinson Appeal, which helps

various charities. To find out more about the appeal visit

http://www.janesappeal.com

8. This action plan is an early contribution to work across

Government to raise levels of physical activity and improve public

health. The Chief Medical Officer set out the importance of physical

activity in daily life to people's health in his At Least Five a Week

report published in April.

http://www.dh.gov.uk/PublicationsAndStatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidanceArticle/fs/en?CONTENT_ID=4080994&chk=1Ft1Of.

9. Brisk walking for 30 minutes on five or more days a week can lead

to up to 50% reduced risk of major chronic diseases such as coronary

heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some cancers. The 30 minutes can

be built up in three 10 minute walks.

10. The government is currently consulting on wider public health and

physical activity measures and has published a consultation paper on

physical activity Choosing Health? Choosing Activity.

http://www.dh.gov.uk/Consultations/LiveConsultations/LiveConsultationsArticle/fs/en?CONTENT_ID=4081602&chk=Y0DWO7

The government is planning to publish a White Paper on public health

in the autumn.

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