A GOVERNMENT minister took a visit to Oxfordshire to unveil a plan to get people walking and cycling more rather than taking the car for short trips.

Jesse Norman, cycling minister, came to Milton Park to publish a report on using cycling across the country in what he said was a ‘green revolution in transport’.

Mr Norman said: “We need to become a nation of cyclists, and this Government wants to make cycling the natural choice of transport for people of all ages and backgrounds.

“The call for evidence published today will support an open, comprehensive and thorough review across Government to encourage active travel and improve safety for all road users and I hope that as many people as possible take the time to read and respond to it.

“We are determined to make cycling safer and easier across the country and we are continuing to invest.”

The Department for Transport published a report late last week which recommended there was a case for a new offence to be introduced to tackle ‘dangerous cycling’.

A report written by legal expert Laura Thomas found there is a ‘strong case’ for changing the law to tackle dangerous and careless cycling that could potentially cause injury or death.

If it were to be introduced, the changes would bring punishments for careless cyclists in line with serious driving offences.

As part of his trip to Oxfordshire, Mr Norman also announced £100,000 of seed funding for cycling safety projects.

Paul Tuohy, the chief executive of Cycling UK, said: “Cycling UK has long campaigned for a review of all road safety laws and enforcement, so it is encouraging that these points will be considered in the call for evidence.

“We want to see more people cycling safely, and will actively engage with the review to ensure it addresses the causes of dangers for cyclists and the barriers to more cycling."

Meanwhile Xavier Brice, the chief executive of walking and cycling charity Sustrans, said: “We welcome the inclusion of pedestrians in the review. This is something we advocated.

“Safety concerns are some of the greatest barriers to more people choosing to walk and cycle and we are pleased that the Review is seeking to make it easier for everyone to travel on foot or by bike, and recognises the wide benefits that active travel brings to individuals and societies.

“Road safety applies to everyone, regardless of travel mode and we broadly support the case for a new offence to tackle dangerous cycling.

“It must remain proportional as people on bikes rarely cause harm to others through their own actions but, like pedestrians, are vulnerable to motor vehicles which are by far the largest cause of death and serious injury on our roads. It is good to see this as only one part of a wider safety review.”