Thank you for contacting me about cycling in Hastings.
I watched with interest the vote held in December 2022 by Hastings Borough Council about creating a shared cycling and walking route through Alexandra Park in Hastings. The final result came in at 15 Councillors in favour and 16 against. I appreciated both the strengths and weaknesses of this proposal including the concerns about the safety of pedestrians in the park.
Nevertheless, active travel helps to reduce pressure on public transport as well as being better for the environment. The Government invested over £850 million in active travel between 2020/21 and 2022/23.
While difficult decisions were made in the Spring Budget, the Government has committed to spending at least a further £100 million for active travel over the remainder of the spending period, as part of a £3 billion investment in active travel over the course of this Parliament. This is a considerable amount of spending and should not be easily dismissed considering the competing needs for national expenditure in different areas.
In July 2022, the Government published the second statutory Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, reaffirming its commitment to active travel and setting out the objectives and the financial resources in place to achieve these for the period 2021 to 2025. The Government also formally established Active Travel England as an Executive Agency. Active Travel England is already overseeing the delivery of £200 million of active travel schemes this financial year, and is due shortly to make an announcement on future active travel funding for local authorities. It is rapidly recruiting its core staff, as well as putting in place its formal governance structures.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Sally-Ann Hart MP