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Policy Scan

Sustrans Policy Scan is a regular summary of key policy thinking, reports, announcements and consultations:

Sustrans says
Sustrans press comments, reports and campaigns relating to policy

Key developments
Relevant government and other organisations’ policy/reports/campaigns

Consultations and inquiries
Sustrans' responses and upcoming consultations


Latest Policy Scan - March 2017 (pdf)


Sustrans says

91% of today’s children are not getting enough exercise (20/03/17) New figures show that only 9% of the UK’s parents say their children get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity a day according to a Sustrans YouGov poll. About one in five (19%) of those surveyed said their child took part in 60 minutes of physical activity a day, two days a week. While 13% said their children did so one day a week or less.

Working towards an active future in Scotland (14/03/17) John Lauder discussed the new Active Travel Task Force set up in Scotland following the growing barriers to progressing with active travel delivery. The aim of the taskforce is to make recommendations to Government on ways to improve delivery of ambitious, inclusive walking and cycling projects and create high-quality places and communities that support health and wellbeing.

Cycling in cities (07/03/17) A greater mode share of cycling should be a key element in creating a sustainable urban transport system enabling people to move more efficiently around urban areas. However in reference to increasing cycling in cities which needs to come first, an increase in cycling to reduce congestion, or a decrease in congestion to increase cycling? Will Haynes our head of built environment explores this question.

Improving the basis for transport investment decision-making in Wales (15/03/17) Dr Andy Cope writes: Transport appraisals in Wales and road scheme appraisals in particular, do not answer the questions that decision makers should be asking under the Well-being of Future Generations Act, nor do they reflect what is actually important to citizens. We want to see appraisal systems that adequately capture the impacts of congestion, carbon emissions, pollution, noise and accidents.

Planning transport fit for future generations (10/10/17) Our Sustrans Cymru Director Steve Brooks suggests the passing of the landmark Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 is an ideal opportunity to position long-term planning above short-sighted policy approaches.

Why Sustrans supports 20mph limits (03/03/17) John Lauder welcomes the introduction of 20 mph in Edinburgh. There is no doubt, and ample evidence worldwide, that 20mph streets are a vital step to keep towns and cities thriving.

Our response to budget announcement of £690 million to tackle urban congestion (08/03/17) The Chancellor announced £690 million competition for English councils to tackle congestion and get networks moving again, as part of his Spring Budget Statement. Responding, Rachel White, our Senior Policy and Political Advisor, said: “We broadly welcome the announcement of a new congestion fund and we urge Local Authorities to prioritise cycling and walking as one of the most effective ways that congestion can be reduced. 

Key developments

Tackling the School Run Research Study (18/01/17) This research study arose as part of a package of measures to address climate change. It provides the latest evidence on school transport choices and which approaches have been effective in influencing these.

Public to measure UK air pollution in huge citizen science project (01/03/17) Friends of the Earth has launched an ambitious citizen science project to measure air pollution and help the public find out about the air they’re breathing, as survey reveals only 1 in 10 think their air quality is bad.

Stuttgart residents sue mayor for 'bodily harm' caused by air pollution (02/03/17) To highlight the dangerous air quality in the German city, which breached EU limits 25 times in January, two neighbours lodged a criminal complaint against city officials.

Crowdsourced funding campaign will make "roads safer" (09/03/17) Cycling UK calls on cyclists across the UK to help make roads safer and put an end to close overtaking of cyclists by drivers, also known as ‘close passes’, as it launches its fundraising campaign ‘Too Close for Comfort’ via the crowdfunding website, Kickstarter.  The campaign follows in the footsteps of West Midlands Traffic Police’s (WMP) award-winning road safety operation, ‘Give Space, Be Safe’ launched last September, which targeted close passes.

Evolution of WHO air quality guidelines: past, present and future (2017) This document summarizes key World Health Organisation publications in the field of air quality and health since the 1950s, which led to the development of the series of WHO air quality guidelines. It outlines the evolution of the scientific evidence on the health effects of air pollution and of its interpretation, supporting policy and other decision-makers in setting outdoor and indoor air quality management strategies worldwide.

Creating age-friendly environments in Europe. A tool for local policy-makers and planners (2016) A World Health Organisation report - Policies to create more age-friendly environments, in which a growing number of cities and communities, local authorities and regional governments participate, have become a forceful movement in Europe and globally. These policies explore synergies between improving the physical environment of neighbourhoods, transport and housing; increasing respect, social inclusion and community participation; and investing in public services.

Propensity to Cycle Tool (PCT) for England (14/03/17) This new tool funded by the Department for Transport shows that nearly one in five people in England would cycle to work if cycling was given more investment. This is based on a scenario where English people were as likely as the Dutch to cycle trips of similar length and distance. 

WHO European Healthy Cities Network adopts the Pécs Declaration (14/03/17) The World Health Organisation European Healthy Cities Network Annual Conference drew to a close on Friday 3 March, with mayors and political leaders adopting the 2017 Healthy Cities Pécs Declaration. This reconfirms their commitment to creating inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable societies.   

Consultations and inquiries

Sustrans responses

Upcoming consultations and inquiries

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