Today the North of Tyne Mayor wrote to the Prime Minister to urge him to reverse the recent cuts to funding for cycling and walking, that will strip £800 million of investment in active travel.
Jamie Driscoll said:
“I ditched my car a few years ago, and cycle or use public transport when I can. It keeps me healthier and gets me outdoors. It’s not an option for everyone – but more people would cycle or walk if the routes were safer and better connected.
“The average person spends around £3,500 a year on running a car. That’s a huge amount of money at the best of times, but during a cost-of-living crisis it can be financially crippling. The reality is nearly 50% of people don’t have access to a car, and we need safer and better quality walking and cycling routes. It’s better for our mental and physical health, better for our environment, and better for our bank balances.
“The new regional transport powers coming online in May 2024 will give us a once in a generation opportunity to revolutionise the way we move about the North East and will unlock huge opportunities for our people. I’m working on a plan for a Total Transport Network for the new North East Mayoral region, that will integrate rail, metro, buses and active travel such as walking, wheeling and cycling.
“Evidence clearly shows the benefits from walking and cycling for the economy. These include increased spending on the high street and town centres, benefits to employers, reduced costs for the NHS from greater physical activity, and reduced congestion.
“We need a government that gets this. The latest decision from the Prime Minister to slash active travel funding shows we are heading in the wrong direction. So come on Rishi, follow my lead, get out of your helicopter and on your bike and let’s sort this out.”
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