Policy Scan

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

August 2019 edition

A group of people cycling along the river Thames in London

Government action urgently needed to hit walking and cycling targets

An alliance of walking and cycling organisations is urging the Government to seriously commit to funding significant improvements in active travel, following the publication of a new report. 

Government action urgently needed to hit walking and cycling targets
A Woman Standing At Some Traffic Lights In Edinburgh

Our CEO Xavier Brice responds to the National Travel Survey results

Xavier Brice, Chief Executive of Sustrans said: “2018 saw cycling levels in England remain at 2% at a national level, with small increases in most regions of England, showing that much more needs to be done overall to increase cycling across the nation. Findings from Bike Life 2017, demonstrates a huge public appetite to start riding a cycle, with 53% of respondents stating they would like to start cycling or cycle more.”

Our CEO Xavier Brice responds to the National Travel Survey results
Children on bikes outside of a Sustrans stand in London

Sustrans to provide support for new TfL programme

Transport for London (TfL) has announced a new programme, managed by Sustrans, that will see a team of new Healthy Streets officers work across London’s boroughs to reduce school-run traffic and encourage greater walking, cycling and public transport use

Sustrans to provide support for new TfL programme
Officials from Sustrans and the government ride the bikes through the centre of Belfast

Cross-party group calls for work to start on new foot and cycle bridge in Belfast

A cross-party group of Assembly Members in South Belfast have come together to call for work to begin on constructing a new foot and cycle bridge across the Lagan first announced in 2014.

Cross-party group calls for work to start on new foot and cycle bridge in Belfast

Key policy developments

Report: Non-Exhaust Emissions from Road Traffic (11/07/19) This report from DEFRA’s Air Quality Expert Group finds that particles from brake wear, tyre wear and road surface wear directly contribute to well over half of particle pollution from road transport. They warn: "No legislation is currently in place specifically to limit or reduce [these] particles. So while legislation has driven down emissions of particles from exhausts, the non-exhaust proportion of road traffic emissions has increased."

Car-Free School Streets are coming to Birmingham (09/07/19) Birmingham City Council has announced a pioneering scheme that closes roads around schools to motorised traffic for up to an hour at the start and end of the school day which is being piloted from this September.

Checklist for new housing developments (22/07/19) Transport for New Homes has produced a Checklist for new housing developments which lists important factors for sustainable new developments including a location within or closely connected to an existing settlement that has a clear centre and local facilities easily accessible without a car.

Public health spending: where prevention rhetoric meets reality (23/07/19) Blog by David Buck of the Kings Fund looking at the Government consultation paper on Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s. David finds that the consultation paper contains warm words, meanwhile the recently published local authority spending plans show a continuation of the trend of reduced spending on public health.

Guidance on promoting healthy and safe communities (22/07/19) The Government planning practice guidance on healthy and safe communities has been updated. The design and use of the built and natural environments, including green infrastructure are major determinants of health and wellbeing.

Active Practice Charter Launched (01/08/19) Sport England reports that they and the Royal College of GPs have launched the Active Practice Charter that inspires and celebrates GP practices that are taking steps to increase activity in their patients and staff.

Examining the politics of transport planning (14/08/19) Essential Evidence by Dr Adrian Davis finds that politics is a key determinant of transport policy. Attempts at evidence-based transport policy are often thwarted by ideological stances at odds with environmental sustainability, and focused on road building rather than on access for all.

London could go car-free by 2030 (12/08/19) A report from the Common Wealth think tank sets out the contours of an alternative vision for transport: public focused, multi-modal, and zero carbon. It sets out how London could become a private car free-zone by 2030 and the multiple benefits that would generate.

Rising traffic driving children off local streets (13/08/19) New research commissioned by UK walking charity, Living Streets has revealed that 60 per cent of children aged 4-11 never play out on their local street according to their parents – up from 50 per cent a decade ago.

Building healthier communities: the role of the NHS as an anchor institution (14/08/19) Widening health inequalities and growing pressures on health care services have prompted this report about the role of the NHS in prevention and its broader influence in local communities.

Rearranging elephants on the Titanic – Jillian Anable’s keynote presentation from UTSG Annual Conference (18/07/19) This paper presents a stark and unflinching analysis of the questions confronting the transport scientific community in the face of catastrophic climate change.

Physical activity of electric bicycle users compared to conventional bicycle users and non-cyclists: Insights based on health and transport data from an online survey in seven European cities (01/06/19)


Policy consultation submissions

Cycle friendly cafe with man ordering a coffee at counter

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