Jesse Norman, Minister of State for the Department for Transport and MP for Ross-on-Wye, recently responded to concerns about a significant reduction in active travel funding. Brighton, Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas Green had put forth questions highlighting the implications of the funding cuts, which he assured would be considered meticulously.
Drawing on the National Audit Office's report on Active Travel in England (HC1376, Session 2022-23), Lucas had queried the potential impact of a considerable £233 million funding decrease announced in March 2023 on active travel trends. This probing inquiry brought the spotlight onto the national level decision-making processes and their ramifications on local active travel initiatives, including those in Herefordshire.
Lucas didn't stop at questioning the economic implications of the funding cuts. She further scrutinised the Secretary of State for Transport on their ambitious 2025 objectives aiming to augment active travel. The National Audit Office's report indicates that the Department is likely to fall short on three out of the four targets, an issue Lucas strongly urged the Secretary to address.
Responding to these concerns, Norman assured that the Department values the report and its recommendations. He clarified that the Department's official response would follow the forthcoming Public Accounts Committee hearing, leaving active travel enthusiasts and residents of Herefordshire eager for more updates. The repercussions of these queries will shape future policy decisions and strategic planning, transforming Herefordshire's local transport dynamics.