Department for Transport
Great Minster House
33 Horseferry Road
Tel: 0300 330 3000
Web Site: www.gov.uk/dft
Our Ref: F0017844
Mr A Tranter
DATE: 22nd October 2019
Dear Mr Tranter
Thank you for your information request of 23rd September 2019.
You requested information on marketing spend related to active travel over
the last 5 years, either directly by the Department for Transport (DfT) or via
grants given to third party organisations.
Your request has been considered under the Freedom of Information Act
2000. I am writing to confirm that the Department has now completed its
search for this information.
Across the financial years 2015/16 to 2019/20, DfT spent £895,000 on
marketing related to active travel. Of this total, £852,000 was spent on
THINK! cycling campaigns to improve the safety of vulnerable road users.
The remaining £43,000 related to events promoting knowledge sharing and
capacity building amongst local authority active travel practitioners. During
this period, DfT also funded a range of educational resources which included
messages for young people on staying safe when walking to school.
However, as these resources covered a variety of road safety issues it is not
possible to identify a specific figure for walking-related expenditure.
Over the same period, DfT issued various revenue grants to local authorities
and third sector organisations to support active travel. There is strong
evidence for the value of such grants – see, for example, the report Finding
the Optimum: revenue and capital investment balance for sustainable travel
which concluded that a combination of revenue and capital measures is
needed to address barriers to behaviour change and that revenue-based
interventions can markedly enhance the value for money of capital projects.
A proportion of these revenue grants will have been spent upon marketing
activities alongside a range of other interventions to encourage walking and
cycling (such as travel planning, the provision of cycle training, led
rides/walks and active travel challenges). The precise mixture of interventions
varies from place to place and is determined at a local level.
As DfT does not hold a breakdown of grant recipients’ spend by type of
activity, I am unable to provide specific figures for marketing spend. However,
the total value of DfT grants from which active travel-related marketing activity
may have been funded is as follows:
2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 2018/19 2019/20
Total* (£m, rounded)
*Figures include grants related to the Access Fund (and its predecessors the Local Sustainable Transport
Fund in 2015/16 and the Sustainable Travel Transition Year Fund in 2016/17), the Big Bike Revival, the Walk
to School Outreach programme and Modeshift STARS as well as support costs for Bikeability.
All the above figures relate to external costs. Within DfT, several individuals
will have spent a proportion of their time commissioning and managing the
contracts and grant programmes that support the marketing of active travel.
However, as staff costs are only available at a wider divisional (not individual)
level, I am unable to provide a reliable estimate of internal costs.
If you are unhappy with the way the Department has handled your request or
with the decisions made in relation to your request you may complain within
two calendar months of the date of this letter by writing to the Department’s
FOI Advice Team at:
Sedlescombe Road North
East Sussex TN37 7GA
Please send or copy any follow-up correspondence relating to this request to
the FOI Advice Team to help ensure that it receives prompt attention. Please
also remember to quote the reference number above in any future
Please see attached details of DfT’s complaints procedure and your right to
complain to the Information Commissioner.
(Cycling and walking policy)
Your right to complain to DfT and the Information
You have the right to complain within two calendar months of the date of this
letter about the way in which your request for information was handled and/or
about the decision not to disclose all or part of the information requested. In
addition a complaint can be made that DfT has not complied with its FOI
Your complaint will be acknowledged and you will be advised of a target date
by which to expect a response. Initially your complaint will be re-considered by
the official who dealt with your request for information. If, after careful
consideration, that official decides that his/her decision was correct, your
complaint will automatically be referred to a senior independent official who will
conduct a further review. You will be advised of the outcome of your complaint
and if a decision is taken to disclose information originally withheld this will be
done as soon as possible.
If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have the
right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The
Information Commissioner can be contacted at:
Information Commissioner’s Office