Roads are to be temporarily closed near schools when parents drop off and pick up their children, in order to deter people from driving on the school run – and to encourage more walking, cycling and scooting. The plans to shut off roads at school rush hours, using barriers, cones and other measures, are already far advanced in London and Manchester and are expected to be followed in other cities and towns. Will Norman, London’s walking and cycling commissioner, told the Observer: “It will mean timed restrictions on traffic around schools to allow people to safely walk to school, cycle to school, scoot to school. I don’t mind if they are on space hoppers as long as it’s not by car. You need to reduce the amount of traffic to allow pupils and parents to walk safely.”
Observer 9th May 2020 read more »
Since the lockdown began, bicycle manufacturers and shops across the UK have reported a boom in demand, and many expect a further increase in sales as people consider resuming journeys to work when restrictions ease. Brompton, the UK’s largest bike manufacturer, producing almost 50,000 folding cycles a year, has seen a fivefold increase in online sales since the start of April, and Halfords has reported a “strong performance” and a 23% increase in share price. Up to 20,000 bicycles which have already been sold are awaiting delivery and building, according to the Association of Cycle Traders. “Sudden demand from essential workers and the significant adoption of cycling for exercise, travel and family leisure during the pandemic, further fuelled by good weather, is putting an extreme demand upon the industry,” it said. Cycle repair shops have also seen a surge in business as people have brought unused bikes stored in garages and sheds back on the roads. Bike retailers are permitted to remain open during the lockdown, but are operating “one in, one out” policies and banning customers from trying out cycles before they buy.
Observer 9th May 2020 read more »
The Government is to invest £2billion in green travel solutions including e-scooters, as it emerges there will be room for just one in 10 passengers on public transport. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, who announced the package at the Government’s daily press briefing, said preventing overcrowding on public transport is of utmost importance. He warned that if public transport were to be returned at full capacity, the two-metre social distancing rules mean they could only carry one in 10 passengers on some services.
iNews 9th May 2020 read more »
Independent 9th May 2020 read more »
Telegraph 10th May 2020 read more »
We need to protect the public transport network as lockdown is lifted, the UK’s transport secretary is expected to say at a press conference on Saturday. The BBC understands Grant Shapps will encourage the public to continue to work from home if they can. Those who need to travel to work will be urged to consider more active ways to travel like walking and cycling. Extra funding is likely to be announced for English local authorities to help alter road networks to facilitate this. The intention is to take pressure off roads and public transport networks. The mayors of London and Manchester – Sadiq Khan and Andy Burnham – announced last week that they were planning to close some roads to cars to create dedicated pedestrian and cycle routes. BBC transport correspondent Tom Burridge said Mr Shapps was also set to announce that trials of e-scooters will be fast-tracked to any area of Britain that wanted to attempt one. Currently, trials are limited to a small number of areas. The transport secretary’s announcement comes as a coalition of nine environmental and transport pressure groups have written to the government to demand a big increase in spending on walking and cycling. Their letter calls for a fundamental redesign of the transport network to improve public health, clean the air and protect the climate. It also points out that the lockdown has led to a dramatic improvement in air quality in Britain’s towns and cities. Some of Britain’s largest cities have seen a 60% reduction in levels of nitrogen dioxide, a harmful pollutant gas associated with traffic.
BBC 9th May 2020 read more »