U.K. transport secretary Grant Shapps has announced an ambitious £2 billion plan to boost cycling and walking both during and after the lockdown. He described at as a “once in a generation” chance to change the country for the better. Business would be boosted by more people cycling and walking, he said.

The £2 billion plan starts with £250 million to enable local authorities to pay for “pop-up” cycling and walking infrastructure to cater for physical distancing during lockdown. Shapps made the announcements at the government’s daily COVID-19 briefing on May 9.

The £2 billion is not new funding, it is part of the £5 billion in new funding announced for cycling and buses in February. However, the language used by Shapps in the briefing, as well as a raft of unexpected announcements, are very much novel. “Fast-track statutory guidance to cater for significantly increased cycling and walking,” would be implemented “immediately,” he said.

A press statement added that the guidance will “tell councils to reallocate roadspace for significantly-increased numbers of cyclists and pedestrians.”