was announced today by transport minister Kim Howells.
The measures form part of 'Walking & Cycling: an Action Plan', which
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
'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
1. Walking and Cycling: An Action Plan is published on the DfT
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
5. DfT will also be providing more than£500,000 to upgrade cycle
parking facilities at 200 rail stations, in partnership with the rail
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
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.
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.
The government is planning to publish a White Paper on public health
in the autumn.