Commenting on the launch of the UK’s first National Infrastructure Assessment, undertaken by the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), Tim Burns, Senior Policy & Partnerships Advisor at Sustrans said:
“We welcome this long-term plan for infrastructure assessment, and particularly the recommendations to integrate strategies for housing, employment and transport and a £43 billion funding pot for financing stable long term transport investment for regional cities. It rightly recognises that cities need to make the best use of the limited space and adopt a less car focussed approach whilst promoting cycling and the need to carry out regular evaluations of cycle schemes. There is a growing body of evidence that demonstrates increasing cycling is key to keeping cities moving, including Bike Life 2017, which shows that 69% of residents in seven major UK cities say their city would be a better place to live and work if more people cycled (Bike Life, 2017). It’s great to see city regions like Greater Manchester getting on with it.
“Overall, the assessment is a step forward, but also a missed opportunity in seeing the potential and need for walking and cycling to be seen as a mainstream solution to urban congestion, and many other challenges our cities face. It contradicts its recommendations for a ‘people-focused’ approach in urban planning by placing too much emphasis on the need to invest in a ‘revolution in road transport’ for EVs and AVs.
“When considering that 92% of the UKs population will live in cities by 2030, local governments need clear and comprehensive guidance, based on robust evidence, to organise cities in a way that enables people to move around without the pollution and congestion that comes with excessive car use. Walking and cycling is a critical part of that and it should be prioritised in infrastructure strategies.”
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