UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced £2 billion to create thousands of miles of protected bike lanes and pedestrian space. There are lots of good reasons to encourage walking and cycling – active travel, as it’s called. The pandemic necessitates social distancing on public transport, which means buses and trains have to ferry fewer passengers per journey. Cycling and walking are healthier alternatives and in the longer term, both have a part to play in cutting carbon emissions from the transport system, as well as improving urban air quality.
Cities across the UK are promoting active travel in response to the pandemic. Manchester has committed £5 million to enable socially distanced cycling and walking on new routes. Sadiq Khan, the current mayor of London, has reallocated road space to pedestrians and cyclists to increase walking five-fold and cycling ten-fold.
A ten-fold increase in cycling would take the present 2.5%