Traffic is not just a bit of bother. If left unchecked, congestion can pose a real threat to economic development and quality of life. Even the newest diesel engines are more polluting than previously thought, so being stuck in a jam is also very unhealthy. Local authorities throughout the UK have been grappling with the question of road space for quite some time now. In an effort to address these concerns, the government have implemented their new cycling and walking strategy (CWIS) which was announced in 2017.
After years of pressure from groups of cyclists and civil servants, the government has committed itself to making “walking and cycling the natural choices for shorter journeys”. It clearly sees this as a good way to tackle the problem of congestion, with CWIS promising £1.2bn to be spent by 2020/1. The funds will be allocated strategically, encompassing a wide range of issues including safety awareness, infrastructure and cycling training. £389.5 million will be distributed to councils to invest in walking and cycle schemes.
So how do local authorities plan for this? As any cyclist will know, road space is a contentious issue. Local authorities will have to look both ways at the junction in order to weigh up the demands of different road users. As things vary so much depending on local circumstances, there will many possible solutions. The key will be rigorous consulting and planning.
The government has said it can achieve its goal of doubling cycling, but in order for CWIS to succeed, local authorities will need to partner up with businesses, public sector groups and the wider community. If they can do this successfully, they may be able to turn a corner.
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Risk Management Partners Limited is authorised and regulated
by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Registered office: The Walbrook Building 25 Walbrook, London EC4N 8AW.
Registered in England and Wales. Company no. 2989025.