Saturday’s announcement of extra funds for walking and cycling was a rare example of political focus on sustainable travel. Could the investment announced by the transport minister, Grant Shapps, help usher in what Boris Johnson pledged a week earlier: a ‘golden age for cycling’? The really good news for active travel is the new statutory guidance that, where public transport use is high, local authorities should reallocate road space for walking and cycling. This is the first time a UK transport secretary has said that. Measures can include pop-up cycle routes, including turning traffic lanes over to cycling using flexible wands, and widening pedestrian space with cones. Authorities can also restrict through-traffic near schools, residential streets and high streets, which can be done cheaply with planters and bollards. Bus- and bike-only corridors are another option, along with new 20mph zones, while councils with existing local cycling and walking infrastructure plans are encouraged to bring those forward. What’s more, GPs can prescribe cycling and exercise.
Guardian 11th May 2020 read more »
It’s already become somewhat of a cliché to talk about not going back to the pre-COVID-19 world and to harness what positive changes we can to address the inequalities that existed in our world before. Not least to address the causes and unequal impact of the climate crisis, and of one of the biggest emitters – the way we move around our streets. That’s why last week we were the first council in the country to launch an emergency transport plan in response to COVID-19. It aims to tackle the crisis in stages by temporarily widening pavements to enable social distancing and reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission; build safe routes for our key workers to cycle to Guys and St Thomas’ Hospital for example; make interventions in our local neighbourhoods so that we filter miles of rat-running traffic and allow local residents to use and enjoy their streets free from increased risk of danger; and construct safe routes to and from our town centres, connecting them with our residential areas so that as social distancing stays with us into the future, we are able safely to access employment and support our fantastic local businesses.
UK100 11th May 2020 read more »