Key policy developments

In key policy developments we present a summary of policy, reports and campaigns by government and other organisations.

Closing central Madrid to cars resulted in a 9.5% boost to retail spending, finds bank analysis (08/03/19) Cities which want to boost takings in shops and restaurants should restrict access for motorists, a new study suggests. Madrid closed its central business district to cars for the first time during the 2018 Christmas period and an analysis informed by Spain’s second largest bank has found that, year-on-year, till transactions were significantly boosted by the measure.

Dame Sarah Storey named Active Travel Commissioner for the Sheffield City Region (01/04/19) Britain's most successful female Paralympian and British Cycling Policy Advocate, has today been named Active Travel Commissioner for the Sheffield City Region. Furthermore former BMX and track cycling world champion Shanaze Reade was also recently announced as the first West Midlands Cycling and Walking Ambassador.

Cardiovascular disease burden from ambient air pollution in Europe reassessed (12/03/19) New research published in the European Heart Journal suggests that deaths in Europe attributable to air pollution amount to 800,000 per year, roughly double previous estimates.  This research is also discussed in The Guardian.

Ban word “cyclist” to stop driver aggression, urge academics (27/03/19) reports an Australian research study (paywall) which establishes a link between the dehumanisation of bike riders and acts of deliberate aggression towards them by motorists. They have called for the word “cyclist” to be banned after a study revealed that more than half of drivers don’t view people on bikes as being completely human.

Research gives insight into Children’s Attitudes to Sport and Physical Activity (21/03/19) Sport England reports that enjoyment is the single biggest factor in motivating children to be active. More than 130,000 children and young people were surveyed in the academic year 2017/18, with participation figures published in December. This new analysis has identified five key findings that give further insight into the attitudes of children and young people towards sport and physical activity.

Greater Manchester set to spend £137m on walking and cycling (27/03/19) Air Quality News reports that Greater Manchester Combined Authority is set to spend £137m on its walking and cycling ‘Bee Network’ as the city region aims to become a world leader for active travel. If approved, the 18 new walking and cycling schemes would be the GMCA’s biggest investment in walking and cycling yet, bringing the total value of projects to over £200m. This means that the GMCA has now endorsed 42 such schemes, which will feature a total of 319 new and upgraded crossings and 70 miles of new cycling and walking routes.