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Boris Johnson to press ahead with more cycling schemes

Just 19 per cent of people in London oppose measures like low traffic neighbourhoods, vs 52 per cent who support them

Jon Stone
Policy Correspondent
Friday 13 November 2020 19:23 GMT
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Department for Transport has released £175m of funding
Department for Transport has released £175m of funding (Getty)

The government is to press ahead with more cycling and walking schemes for Britain's towns and cities as new research shows broad public support for the measures.

Boris Johnson said there was "strong appetite" for more active travel infrastructure, as the Department for Transport announced the next £175m tranche of funding.

A survey by pollsters Redfield & Winton, shows just 19 per cent of people in London in oppose measures like low traffic neighbourhoods, while 52 per cent support them, and 25 per cent are neutral.

The schemes, which involve restricting through traffic on residential streets, have been unpopular with some vocal motorists who previously used the routes as shortcuts to avoid traffic lights and other motorists on main roads.

But proponents say the schemes make roads quieter and safer for people who want to walk and cycle, particularly while public transport is reduced or restricted because of the pandemic.

“It has been great to see so many people build cycling and walking into their daily travel habits," transport secretary Grant Shapps said.

"To support them, we know it’s vital to have the right infrastructure in place so everyone – cyclists, pedestrians and motorists – can use our roads.  

“Whether you’re walking, cycling, driving or using public transport, people must have the space they need to get around safely.”

In a bid to head off critics, Mr Shapps has published new guidance telling councils that they should publish plans showing how they will consult on schemes with communities, and submit monitoring reports to his department on how they are working.

The tweaks come after one Conservative council in London, Wandsworth, ripped out a planned low traffic neighbourhood after complaints from drivers who wanted to use the residential streets as a shortcut.

Prime minister Boris Johnson said: “We want to do everything we can to make it easy for people to include some activity in their daily routines – whether that’s cycling to work or walking safely to school.

“We can see the public’s strong appetite for greener and more active travel, and this funding will help ensure the right infrastructure is in place to build truly active neighbourhoods.”

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