Budget 2020 and the active travel vibe

Today (11 March 2020), Chancellor Rishi Sunak “unveiled a £30bn package to boost the economy and get the country through the coronavirus outbreak” (Budget 2020: Chancellor pumps billions into economy to combat coronavirus – bbc.co.uk).

Everything you need to know about the 2020 Budget (vote.conservatives.com)

Summary of Budget 2020: Key points at-a-glance (bbc.co.uk)

Budget 2020: documents (gov.uk)

A question on our minds, perhaps unsurprisingly, is whether this is a budget that will help Get Britain Cycling (let alone Get Sutton Cycling)? Is this a budget that will facilitate active travel?

Time will tell, of course. However, with a freeze on fuel duty for the tenth (or eleventh?) consecutive year it does seem that, when it comes to the private motoring aspect of transport, the vibe is very much ‘business as usual’. Two and a half years ago, following the November 2017 budget, we said much the same thing. (The image below is an extract from Notes from our November 2017 meeting).


In this post, a very brief (and inevitably selective and totally incomplete) round-up of what some people are saying on the day of the Budget 2020 statement is presented. Basically, highlighting some of the comments that largely reflect the disappointment that, once again, the direction of travel appears not to have been set to enable active travel.

This is also an opportunity to remind ourselves that just 1.3% of the trips currently made by residents of our London borough are by cycle [1]. It is also worth recalling that in 1991 the equivalent figure was 2% [2], and that the targets for 2020 and 2025 are 2.2% and 4% respectively [3,4].

1: Update on [2015] Sustainable Transport Strategy, Appendix C ‘Progress against Sustainable Transport Strategy targets’ (LB of Sutton, October 2019)

2: Sustainable Transport Strategy (LB of Sutton, March 1999) referencing London Area Transport Survey 1991

3: Sustainable Transport Strategy (LB of Sutton, June 2015). Target date changed, from 2017 to 2020, in Update on Sustainable Transport Strategy, Appendix C (E&N Committee, 28 June 2018)

4: Sutton Transport Plan / Second LIP (LB of Sutton, July 2011), reaffirmed in Sustainable Transport Strategy (LB of Sutton, June 2015)


v1: 11.03.2020

Posted in Advocacy, News

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