Published: 5th NOVEMBER 2019

Sustrans election manifesto calls for 20-minute neighbourhood planning reform to cut carbon emissions

Today we launch our manifesto for the General Election 2019. The manifesto calls on all political parties to take bold action on road transport emissions and prioritise walking and cycling, to tackle the climate crisis for future generations.

illustration of a 20 minute neighbourhood

In a 20-minute neighbourhood, residents are within a 20-minute walk from their everyday services and needs.

Amongst its five main recommendations, it asks candidates to commit to a 20-minute neighbourhood planning principle for all cities and towns so that everyone can walk and cycle for their everyday services and needs.

The climate change crisis is amongst the greatest environmental and health risks of the 21st century. Transport accounts for 26% of the UK's greenhouse gas emissions, with the main sources being petrol and diesel cars.

Sustrans manifesto is calling on the next UK Government to take on five main asks:

  1. Provide sustained long-term investment in walking and cycling. This includes at least 5% of the transport budget to be spent on walking and cycling by 2020/21, rising to at least 10% before 2024/25; and £72m investment per year in the National Cycle Network.
  2. Commit to a 20-minute neighbourhood planning principle for all cities and towns.
  3. Transform the school journey to help children walk, cycle and scoot in safety and with confidence.
  4. Ensure places are accessible for everyone to walk, cycle and wheel by implementing a 20mph default speed limit in all built-up areas and ban pavement parking.
  5. Establish a UK-wide Greenways programme so that everyone has equal access to the natural environment. 
Blockquote quotation marks
We are facing a climate change crisis in which emissions from transport is the primary source, and air pollution damages our health and the health of unborn babies. We keep building homes in places devoid of services making people car dependant. This is making the issues we face far worse, especially for more deprived communities. Blockquote quotation marks
Xavier Brice, Sustrans CEO

"This manifesto sets out clear asks for the next government to show leadership on curbing road transport emissions and make walking and cycling the easiest and most convenient options for more people, regardless of gender, age and abilities as a matter of urgency. Neighbourhoods where people live within a 20-minute walk of everyday services will be critical to creating a healthy, zero-carbon future for everyone."

Sustrans has long highlighted the need for the UK Government to help people reduce their reliance on the car and prioritise investment in walking and cycling. Although the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy was launched in 2017, levels of investment haven’t been sufficient to meet its targets to double cycling trips and we need further increases in walking.

Read the Sustrans General Election 2019 manifesto

For more information, please contact:

Anna Galandzij, Senior Press Officer,

Liv Denne, Press and Media Officer, 035318

Emily Edwards, Press and Media Officer, 904266

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