Walking and Cycling 11/18 - Ministerial reply from Jesse Norman MP

Government’s response to the Cycling & Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS): Safety Review Call for Evidence ("Call for Evidence")

Cycling and walking are increasingly being understood not just as modes of transport but as crucial parts of an integrated approach to issues of health, obesity, air quality, and town and city planning. In this context, I wanted to let you know that today the Department for Transport has published its response to the CWIS: Safety Review Call for Evidence.

The CWIS, published in 2017, set out the Government’s ambition to make cycling and walking the natural choice for shorter journeys, or as part of a longer one, by 2040. When I published the Call for Evidence on 9 March this year, I restated the Government’s commitment to increasing cycling and walking and making our roads safer for vulnerable users, including cyclists and pedestrians.

The Call for Evidence was received very well, with over 14,000 responses from members of the public of every age and description, as well as local authorities, cycling, walking and horse-riding organisations, police forces and more. People responded with vigour, sending the Department for Transport great ideas, evidence of what works, examples of good practice from other countries, innovative technologies, and imaginative solutions.

More recently on 18 October, I published a purely factual document summarising the Call for Evidence responses and setting out the main themes emerging from the Department for Transport’s analysis. We continued to analyse the contributions to the Call for Evidence, as well as outputs from our regional workshops held in London, Bristol, Birmingham and Manchester. The Government response published today includes a range of safety measures that will bring cycling and walking closer together as part of the Government’s overall ambition to increase active travel. The response also sets out a vision and two year plan of action with 21 packages of measures to address the key themes and issues raised in the Call for Evidence.

All these measures are designed to support the continued growth of cycling and walking, with all the benefits they bring to our communities, economy, environment and society. I recognise and value the tremendous amount of activity being undertaken nationally to keep vulnerable road users safe. The Department for Transport wants to provide effective leadership and support to the wide range of delivery partners and other bodies who collectively work together with great commitment to make a real difference to cycling and walking safety. We look forward to continuing our close working with other government departments, devolved administrations, motoring agencies, local councils, police, cycling and walking organisations, motoring groups, road safety campaigners and wider stakeholders to take forward this action plan. You may also be aware that we have recently carried out a separate consultation on new cycling offences, which closed on 5 November. It sought views on whether cyclists should face offences similar to those of causing death or serious injury when driving dangerously or carelessly. We are in the process of analysing responses and will publish our response in due course.