My response regarding the Levelling-Up and Regeneration Bill and provisions for cycling
Thank you for your email sharing your views about the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill.
We recognise the intrinsic value of cycling to our society. As well as being greener, active travel helps to reduce pressure on public transport and the road network and to keep our communities healthier.
Constituents will be aware of my longstanding support of active travel options. I have been an officer of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Cycling for a considerable amount of time and, since serving as a Transport Minister under Margaret Thatcher, have been a vocal campaigner in support of cycling.
I have been very vocal in my belief that decisions on such matters, including planning, are best made by local representatives who know their areas best and are underpinned by democratic accountability.
In my constituency, I have worked hard to protect our local environment by campaigning against plans to build on the Goring Gap.
I commend Worthing Borough Council and West Sussex County Council for their transformation of Portland Road in our town centre.
Portland Road is a welcoming public space with space for walkers, cyclists and restaurant dwellers alike. With comfortable seating, landscape planting and cycle racks, the Councils have taken into consideration the needs of not only the town but the people who frequent it.
I am sure Councils across the country are doing all they can to create environments that work for people, nature and the climate.
In June, earlier this year, the Government announced that former Olympic cyclist Chris Boardman will serve as National Active Travel Commissioner on a permanent basis in order to drive forward active travel efforts and ensure that cycling and walking become the natural choice for shorter journeys. Chris Boardman has emphasised the essential importance of ensuring that safe, active travel is prioritised in local planning.
Thank you once again for writing on this important topic.