In October, the UK Government released its 2018 Budget. From an environmental perspective, the Budget was not in our favour; lacking the essential funding to tackle the major environmental challenges we face and giving no reference to climate change. A questionable decision, considering the recent UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recent report. This stressed the urgency of acting now to mitigate catastrophic effects of climate change. The Budget overlooks many of the problems associated with climate change, and lacks new funding to tackle them, such as support for sustainable transport.
The Budget did provide funding for road improvements, and delivers a large strategic roads investment package worth £28.8 billion. The result? A continuation of car dominated transport and therefore higher levels of pollution.
We need more spend on sustainable transport
Our charity partner Living Streets recently suggested what the Budget means for walking, air pollution, and climate change. Jo Irvin, Living Streets Executive, expressed that walking and cycling should “receive a fair share of the Government’s total transport spend”. A higher level of investment in walking and cycling would firstly reduce traffic and air pollution. Secondly, it would create more walkable cities, and thirdly help tackle issues associated with climate change. Living Streets has suggested that the UK Government must rethink its funding priorities to encourage walking through investment in safe walking routes, cycle lanes, and green public transport.
Although it is disappointing news that the Budget lacks investment in walking routes and sustainable transport, we can still all take positive actions as individuals. Walking can have significant positive benefits for our physical and mental health, and getting out and about on foot helps us to engage with nature, and reduces our carbon footprint. Within most of our employee engagement Jump programmes, sustainable travel is a key feature. Whether you walk, cycle, use public transport or car share to get to work, our Jump programmes reward you. Not only will you feel better, you’ll also be doing your bit for the environment. Even if it’s not in the budget!