9 May 2020
Is cycling to work the new normal?
The Government has announced a £2bn package to facilitate greener methods of transport such as cycling and walking to relieve pressure on public transport as people return to work. This move follows unprecedented increases in cycling and walking during the coronavirus pandemic. The Government plans include the introduction of pop-up bike lanes with protected spaces for cycling, and cycle and bus-only corridors, amongst other moves.
At IMS we are hopeful that the infrastructure will lead to a permanent transition away from high carbon methods of transport. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We know cars will continue to remain vital for many, but as we look to the future, we must build a better country with greener travel habits, cleaner air and healthier communities.”
The Government has aims to double cycling and increase walking by 2025, and an updated Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy will be launched by the Prime Minister in the Summer. This will include higher standards for permanent infrastructure across England and create a long-term budget for cycling and walking. Other measures announced by the Government include bringing forward a trial of rental e-scooters to increase green transport options.
Behavioural changes have been triggered by the pandemic with many people enjoying the cleaner air from reduced vehicle emissions. As reported by the BBC, a survey conducted by the AA of 20,000 motorists found that 40% intend to drive less to maintain the cleaner air of the lockdown, and four in five would take some action to reduce their impact on air quality.
At IMS we hope that the improvements to the green transport infrastructure and desire to improve air quality may go some way to permanently reducing emissions from our roads. Please see the original Government news story here.