Investing in better cycling routes

“We desperately need a new normal that involves fewer cars on the roads.”

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Last week, the i-newspaper reported that “The public favour spending on better cycling routes and bus services over major road building investment, according to a poll that suggests public backing for low-carbon transport options has soared during lockdown”:

Britons back investment for better cycling routes and bus services over roads, poll finds

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And today, James Dyke of Exeter University writes in the i that:

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Cycling is brilliant for people and the planet – let’s hope the investment is here to stay

It’s the best way forward, especially with an increasing amount of evidence that the severity of illness and number of deaths from Covid-19 is strongly affected by air pollution and obesity

… It is common knowledge that getting people out of cars and on to bikes will help to solve traffic congestion, reduce climate impacts, air pollution, road traffic collision deaths and improve health. There is also an increasing amount of evidence that the severity of illness and number of deaths from Covid-19 is strongly affected by air pollution and obesity. Having more people cycling can help to address both of these factors. What is more, studies have found that more cycling will have a range of economic benefits.

For example, a report by Cycling UK found that for every pound spent on cycling and walking schemes, £13 of economic benefit is produced. This includes people spending more money in local businesses because they can more easily walk along car-free streets and sit outside to dine at cafés and restaurants. Some may argue that the existing temporary measures will cause traffic chaos if things get back to normal when schools and offices open in September. But we desperately need a new normal that involves fewer cars on the roads…

Cycling is brilliant for people and the planet – let’s hope the investment is here to stay

James Dyke – Academic | Writer | Public Speaker

Staff | Geography | University of Exeter

Build Back Better – Q&A with Dr James Dyke about how the COVID crisis could impact the climate – YouTube

   
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