DfT Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy

The Government released its Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy [1] for consultation on 27 March 2016.
Consultation closed on 23 May 2016.

Response from Pedestrian Safety

This response from Pedestrian Safety concentrates on the needs of children.


The document is wholly inadequate - it should be rejected and another draft written.

The problem that needs to be addressed

  • Walking and cycling used to be the natural choice for children for short journeys
  • For decades, UK governments have given priority to car travel
  • As car travel has become safer and easier, walking and cycling have become more dangerous and unpleasant, leading to
  • deaths and serious injuries in child pedestrians and cyclists
  • reluctance to walk and cycle,
  • inactivity and obesity and (in adult life) diabetes, heart disease and cancers.
So, the DfT has had a major role in causing a public health disaster.

The Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy ambition

The stated ambition is excellent - that "We want to make cycling and walking the natural choice for shorter journeys, or as part of a longer journey", but it should acknowledge that walking and cycling used to be the natural choice.

How the Strategy should be produced

It should be based on international best practice in infrastructure, legal framework, funding, etc as determined from studies of the evidence from countries and cities where the ambition has already been achieved, or most progress has been made. This would give evidence-based conclusions on what is necessary for the UK. A competent strategy would include a Safe System approach, default 20mph urban speed limits, presumed liability, spending of over 10 per person per year on each of walking and cycling, tackling of the widespread speeding and illegal parking, or explanations for why these have been rejected as unnecessary.

What has been done

None of this has happened. There is no proposal for large scale funding for walking and cycling (but funding for first class facilities for motor vehicles has continued). It is clear that the measures included in the document will not achieve the stated ambition, and that ministers and officials know this, and so the document is a sham, a charade, a pretence at making roads safe for children.

An acceptable standard has not been met

Government ministers and officials have a duty of care to children, and so the draft Strategy is a neglect of their needs. If health professionals had neglected their patients in this way, they would be struck off their professional registers; if a social services department had let down children so badly, those responsible would be sacked. Citizens have a right to expect a proper standard of administration for the care of children when travelling on foot or by bicycle, and an obligation to expose and robustly confront anything less. A new draft is needed.

This response as a .doc file


Other responses


[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/draft-cycling-and-walking-investment-strategy