Six of the UK’s leading cycling and walking organisations have criticised the government’s ‘Plan for the Motorist’, which we expect will be officially announced by the Transport Secretary on Monday at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, saying it denies people their choice, health and freedom.
Bikeability Trust, British Cycling, Cycling UK, Living Streets, Ramblers and Sustrans, say instead of giving people real choice in how they live their lives, the plan ignores possibilities for cheap, reliable and sustainable travel, leaving many with one default option: to drive.
The government’s ‘Plan for the Motorist’ outlines plans which the six organisations say strip away opportunities for millions of families to allow their children to walk or cycle to school safely, live healthy lives, and travel to work in a cheap and reliable way.
The following is a joint statement released this morning by the CEOs of Bikeability Trust, British Cycling, Cycling UK, Living Streets, Ramblers and Sustrans:
When the government should be giving people more opportunities to live their lives responsibly, it’s robbing them of options.
When Ministers could be promoting public transport, cycling and walking as cheap sustainable options in a cost of living and climate crisis, they’re entrenching congestion and reliance on driving for short, local journeys.
When the government could respect people’s freedom to choose how they travel, it’s removing the alternatives. This is a plan that looks no further than one way of travelling and will make the roads worse for those occasions when people do need to drive.
Having a reliable bus route to work, the freedom to cycle to the park, or to be able to let your children walk to school safely while breathing clean air should not be beyond us.
This plan restricts people’s travel choices, setting the country on cruise control towards missed net zero targets and a worsening health and inactivity crisis, while denying our children of their independence and freedom to move around their local area safely.
Emily Cherry, Chief Executive, Bikeability Trust
Jon Dutton, CEO, British Cycling
Sarah Mitchell, Chief Executive, Cycling UK
Stephen Edwards, Chief Executive, Living Streets
Ross Maloney, Chief Executive, Ramblers
Xavier Brice, Chief Executive, Sustrans