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Increase walking and cycling budget to relieve NHS, says Sustrans CEO

Increase walking and cycling budget to relieve NHS, says Sustrans CEO

The CEO of sustainable transport charity Sustrans, Xavier Brice, has penned an open letter to the next Prime Minister calling for an increase to the…

Friday, Aug 19

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The CEO of sustainable transport charity Sustrans, Xavier Brice, has penned an open letter to the next Prime Minister calling for an increase to the five-year, £2 billion walking and cycling budget.

With an air of uncertainty surrounding active travel policy lingering since Boris Johnson announced he would leave office, many commentators, including Brice, are concerned that cycling has lost an ally in Number 10. Notably, Andrew Gilligan , Johnson’s right-hand man on cycling and a special advisor, is likely to be removed in the switchover.

As reported this week , anti-cycling sentiment is beginning to emerge in the transition of leadership, with both leadership candidates turning down the dial on climate policy, among other areas that could lend to increased active travel.

Flagging the disparity between the £27 billion roads budget at a time when the cost of living crisis, plus pressures on the NHS are giving the Government severe challenges, Brice writes “The current administration’s 2020 investment of £2 billion in walking and cycling schemes to help level up the country was welcome, and we’re asking that this be increased for the long-term by the next occupant of 10 Downing Street.”

Given the link between active transport and improved health and mental wellbeing, it was previously announced that GPs would be encouraged to ‘prescribe’ cycling to NHS patients as part of health improvement measures.

Xavier Brice’s letter in full reads:

Whoever wins the Conservative leadership election, we lose a benefactor of cycling and walking and their vital public health benefits. This […]

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