£2 billion package to create new era for cycling and walking
The Government has announced new plans to encourage cycling and walking as part of plans to boost greener, active transport. Pop-up bike lanes with protected space for cycling, wider pavements, safer junctions, and cycle and bus-only corridors will be created in England within weeks as part of a £250 million emergency active travel fund.
Following unprecedented levels of walking and cycling across the UK during the coronavirus pandemic, the plans will help encourage more people to choose alternatives to public transport when they need to travel, making healthier habits easier and helping make sure the road, bus and rail networks are ready to respond to future increases in demand.
Fast-tracked statutory guidance will tell councils to reallocate roadspace for significantly-increased numbers of cyclists and pedestrians. 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.
Vouchers will be issued for cycle repairs, to encourage people to get their old bikes out of the shed, and plans are being developed for greater provision of bike fixing facilities. Many more will take up the Cycle to Work scheme, which gives employees a discount on a new bike.