Campaign for inter Village Cycle Routes
A member of the Leicester Cycling Campaign Group, Rachael Bob, is trying to establish if there are other parents in Leicestershire who would like to campaign together for safe protected routes between Leicestershire villages/areas to allow children to visit their friends independently -reducing car dependency. In a fairly flat county where children live typically within 5 miles of each other in their school catchment areas, this should be the vision to break car dependency, live healthier lives and create better cycling for all. She would like to start lobbying the county council and is looking for like minded parents to do this with.
Threat of Traffic Congestion
The latest Government figures show that motor traffic on Britain’s roads is back up to 100% of pre-pandemic levels, despite 28% of employees continuing to work remotely.
With over half of drivers saying having access to a car is more important now than before the pandemic, the research from the University of Westminster predicts that up to 2.7 million more people, who had previously commuted by public transport, could switch to travelling by car, causing gridlock in many UK towns and cities.
While councils in England have been allocated a further £175m from the Active Travel Fund announced in May, to create more safe space for cycling and walking, increased car congestion has resulted in vociferous cries about new cycle lanes and low traffic neighbourhoods causing gridlock and bankrupting local businesses.
But research by the Department for Transport indicates that, beneath the noisy outrage, 78% of people support traffic reduction in their local area, and 65% are in favour of reallocating road space for cycling and walking.
E-bike subsidies may get people to cycle
The Government is drafting plans to cut the cost of e-bikes by up to a third, along the lines of the current system subsidising electric cars. The full details are due to be published in the spring, following trials over the winter. Electric assist bikes overcome the perception that cycling is hard work. With c.70% of journeys under five miles being driven, e-bikes could provide an alternative to households that currently rely on two or more cars.
Urgent case for more walking and cycling
In response to inaccurate and misleading objections raised to some emergency projects, resulting in the removal of schemes to the detriment of the local communities, the Walking and Cycling Alliance has set out the case as to why we need more active travel measures, and addresses some of the criticisms made.
It makes some key points about walking and cycling being vital for people to cope with not only a global pandemic but obesity, inactivity, air quality, climate change and traffic congestion.
- £10-£12bn cost of obesity to the NHS by 2030 In the UK. Current cost is around £6bn;
- Up to 36,000 deaths every year linked to air pollution in UK;
- 33% of UK CO2 emissions are accounted for by road transport;
- £6.9bn cost to drivers of congestion in UK cities every year;
- 115 hours lost on average by road users in congestion every year in the UK;
- Only 2% of all trips in GB are cycled (19% in Denmark and 26% in the Netherlands);
- 68% of residents in 12 major urban areas support building more cycle lanes even when this would mean less room for other road traffic.
Active Travel budget for England slashed by 15%
The November Spending Review shows the Government failing to meet its own commitments and objectives for funding cycling and walking, with the wider funding package completely at odds with the Government de-carbonisation strategy. The Chancellor announced a 15% cut in funding for cycling and walking for 2021/22, with spending reduced to just £257m.
The move will leave councils struggling to invest in planned cycling and walking networks, and raises serious questions as to how the Government will meet its £2bn spending commitment by 2025.