Increasing active travel

   Increasing active travel

In May, the Government announced a £2billion package to create a new era of cycling and walking.

Pop-up bike lanes with protected space for cycling, wider pavements, safer junctions, and cycle and bus-only corridors will be created in England as part of a £250million emergency active travel fund.

New, fast-tracked guidance tells councils to reallocate road space for cyclists and pedestrians, numbers of which have significantly-increased during lockdown.

RoSPA is delighted that the Government has recognised the importance of providing safe segregated facilities, where both pedestrian and cyclist safety is paramount. The sooner we see road space re-allocated, to further encourage the move away from single-person trips in cars for short journeys, the better.

As part of the new active travel plans, in towns and cities, some streets could become bike and bus-only, while others remain available for motorists. More side streets could be closed to through traffic, to create low-traffic neighbourhoods and reduce rat-running while maintaining access for vehicles. Infrastructure improvements are also expected to include segregated cycle lanes and secure cycle parking.

The Government’s plans to tackle obesity will also include measures to encourage and improve cycling.
GPs will be encouraged to prescribe cycling in pilot areas identified as having poor health outcomes, with surgeries to provide access to bikes.

The Government has also launched an updated cycling and walking plan for England, which has four themes:
  • Better streets for cycling and people
  • Cycling and walking at the heart of decision-making
  • Empowering and encouraging local authorities
  • Enabling people to cycle and protecting them when they do.
On Tuesday (July 28), a scheme offering £50 bike repair vouchers was launched as part of this. 50,000 vouchers will be made available, initially on a first come first served basis, at fixyourbikevoucherscheme.est.org.uk

The Fix Your Bike Voucher Scheme aims to encourage more people to embrace cycling as an alternative to private cars and public transport, particularly while social distancing measures are in place.

The scheme will be open to anyone who has an unused cycle in need of a repair. It will help them get it back on the road by providing £50 towards the cost of a service and repair for up to two cycles per household. The voucher will typically cover the bill for a standard service and the replacement of a basic component such as an inner tube or cable.

Other measures to improve the wellbeing of pedestrians and cyclists include strengthening the Highway Code, improving legal protections, increasing lorry safety standards and working with the police and retailers to tackle bike thefts.
 
An in-depth report on the plans is available.

Nick Lloyd, head of road safety

Image by Stan Petersen from Pixabay


Posted: 7/31/2020 2:09:00 PM 0 comments



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