Gear Change: A bold vision for cycling and walking welcomed by Trudy

A ‘revolutionary’ £2bn fund aimed at encouraging more people to take up cycling and walking has been welcomed by Copeland’s MP. 

The fund, launched by the Prime Minister this week will see thousands of miles of new protected bike lanes, cycle training for everyone and bikes available on prescription. 

The new plan aims to build on the significant increase in the number of people cycling during the pandemic. 

It sets out a comprehensive, long term vision to increase active travel and embed the benefits of walking and cycling into how we live, work and get around.

Trudy said: “Cycling is a brilliant alternative to the car for short distances - which happens to be why most people use their cars.  With the emphasis firmly on getting healthier and a wonderful network of cycle tracks and bridleways to explore, we have many reasons to peddle.  

“The Prime Minister is well known for his love of the bike, and that appreciation is certainly benefitting communities through DfT’s quite radical policies, it’s also brilliant to be part of local communities, town and parishes, and industry all working on projects too.”

To allow more people can make cycling part of their commute or daily routine, more cycle racks will be installed at transport hubs, town and city centres and public buildings, and funding will go towards new bike hangars and on street storage for people who don’t have space to keep a bike at home.

To encourage people to continue to take up cycling, cycle training will be made available for every child and adult who wants it, accessible through schools, local authorities or direct from cycle training schemes.

During the lockdown, Trudy has been working virtually with business owners, local cyclists and Cumbria’s Bicycle Mayor to develop a cycling strategy for the county. 

Following the summer recess, Trudy will be sitting down with the Government’s Cycling and Walking Minister, Chris Heaton-Harris to discuss proposals for a local strategy. 

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We’ve got a once in a lifetime opportunity to create a shift in attitudes for generations to come, and get more people choosing to cycle or walk as part of their daily routine.

“The measures we’ve set out in this revolutionary plan will do just that. No matter your age, how far you’re travelling, or your current confidence on a bike – there are plans to help and support you.

“By helping to fix your bike – or get an electrically powered one; by increasing storage space at stations, on trains and buses; and by introducing more ways to keep pedestrians and cyclists safe, we’re making it easier than ever to make active travel part of your daily life, and leading England to become a great cycling nation.”