This is a golden opportunity to encourage cycling and walking according to our executive director for property.
His words come as the government publish a report marking a year since they mapped out their plan to spend £2 billion on active travel.
According to figures published in the report, cycling has risen by 46% in the past year – compared to 2019-20 – driven by an increase in leisure cycling, less traffic and the re-allocation of road space to protect cyclists.
The government wants to capitalise on this and is promoting this summer as the ‘summer of cycling and walking’, alongside a commitment to construct hundreds of miles of new high-quality cycle lanes, make improvements to the National Cycle Network and aid the delivery of new schemes to encourage walking.
Plans also include changes to the Highway Code to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians – all of which are commitments our executive director of property, Charles Johnston, is pleased to see.
“Supporting more people to cycle and walk as part of their everyday lives can transform our nation’s health and wellbeing,” he said.
“The report and the commitment of further government funding are an acknowledgement of this.
“Millions of people have turned to walking and cycling for a local, accessible way to stay active during the pandemic.
“With restrictions now removed and many people set to return to their workplaces on foot and bike, active travel offers marks a golden opportunity to help our nation’s activity levels recover.”
In addition to the campaigns and local authority funding, the government is also establishing Active Travel England, which will be staffed by around 100 highways engineers and town planners, all aiming to improve the quality of planning from local authorities.
It will be a statutory body in the planning system and sign off major schemes, as well as auditing them afterwards to evaluate their effectiveness.