The case for cycling as the natural choice for shorter journeys is strong, and the resulting benefits are wide reaching – to the economy, to the environment, and to the health of individuals and communities. I know that the Government is committed to giving people a realistic choice to cycle, so that anyone, of any age, gender, fitness level and income can make the choice to get on a bike. I am pleased that the Conservative Manifesto included a commitment to double cycling by 2025, and that the recent Spending Review committed over £300 million of support for cycling.
This builds on the Coalition Government’s work to support cycling. Government spending on cycling more than doubled between 2010 and 2015, with £374 million committed between 2011 and 2015. I welcome the fact that that while spend per head on cycling in England was only around £2 in 2010, it is now around £6 and even higher in some areas. You may have seen that the funding committed in the Spending Review included delivering the £114m Cycle City Ambition scheme in full.
Last year the Department for Transport set out how the Government aims to make the UK a cycling nation. One step will be to publish a Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy by summer 2016, after holding a consultation in the spring. I am pleased that the Government will provide cycle proficiency training for 1.3 million children in the next five years, and that the Road Investment Strategy includes plans to improve 200 sections of the roads network for cyclists.