Cllr Julie Grocutt
Cllr Julie Grocutt

The Government’s mistakes on Active Travel were highlighted by Council Deputy Leader Julie Grocutt, Labour councillor for Stocksbridge and Upper Don this week in a letter to the Secretary of State for Transport, Mark Harper MP.

Harper had signalled the Government U-turn on Active Travel with a £380m reduction in the budget for Active Travel across the Country.

The Governments own data shows walking and cycling can bring environmental, health and economic benefits including reducing congestion and supporting local businesses with figures indicating for every £1 invested in walking and cycling; £5.61 of benefits are delivered.

Council Deputy Leader Julie Grocutt, Labour councillor for Stocksbridge and Upper Don said: ‘The 50% cut announced will end up costing the economy over £2bn’

The Government recognises Active Travel can result in reduced levels of pollution and tackle Climate Change whilst increasing adult physical activity hugely important for maintaining health. The cuts roll back on the Governments ‘Gear Change’ policy announced in July 2020 which they hailed as the ‘most ambitious plans yet’ to boost Active Travel.

Cllr Julie Grocutt accused the Government of ‘failing to see the bigger picture at a point when a strategic approach to investment in our transport network is needed most’.

‘at the same time this government is slashing buses it is now making walking and cycling more difficult’

Criticising the Governments short-term thinking and the retrograde message to residents and businesses Cllr Julie Grocutt said the cuts: ‘undermine our local implementation of this vital area of work as we strive to achieve our net zero targets, increase our resident’s wellbeing, improve local air quality and most importantly help keep people safe on our roads by providing safe and accessible infrastructure’

‘I urge the Government to restore and increase Active Travel funding to enable people to have more choice about travel and improve health and air quality as we decarbonise our transport network’.



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