Increased Support for Active Travel

We have an opportunity presented to us to increase our support for active travel in our communities. Whether this be by creating segregated - possibly covered (to deal with the infamous weather) - cycle lanes separating cyclists from both pedestrians and cars; wider pavements to allow for a greater volume of walkers/runners or subsidies of cycles/running footwear etc. Over a longer period of time this could even stretch to certain areas/roads being closed off to motorised vehicles and some car parking spaces repurposed as bike storage.

Why the contribution is important

Active travel has many benefits for physical health, mental health and for the environment. It also can allow for easier social distancing than public transport, a lower burden on emergency services (through less car accidents, breakdowns etc.) and can even shorten journey times. We know that excess fat and lack of exercise are risk factors for so many health issues and, especially if Covid-19 is here for a while, finding ways to encourage better public health could lead more positive health outcomes for Scottish citizens in the future.

It is also possible that in the future, more walkers and cyclists in city/town centres could have an enormously positive impact on our high streets - which have been decimated by both out-of-town retail parks and online shopping - and are likely to struggle with the fallout from the current pandemic. A return of local journeys to local shops may be no bad thing.

by slimbofat on May 08, 2020 at 11:35AM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.5
Based on: 15 votes


  • Posted by Sulphonamide May 08, 2020 at 12:57

    Well, if we are going to create a "new normal" then I suppose this would be a positive way to go.
  • Posted by cos May 09, 2020 at 10:24

    Great ideas here to encourage more people to use their bikes for travel. A triple win for the environment, health (physical and mental) and relieving pressure on public transport due to social distancing. Many people in Scotland do not cycle on the roads due to safety concerns. I love cycling but not on roads alongside cars, vans and lorries.
    On a separate cycle lane however I would happily do so. Many current cycle paths can be quiet leading to different type of safety concerns. Wet weather is another factor that puts many people off cycling. I saw a photo of covered separate cycle lanes once and thought it was a fab idea.
    I really hope the decision makers give the idea of separate covered cycle lanes serious consideration for the benefit of our health and our planet.
  • Posted by JohnED May 11, 2020 at 17:46

    The majority of motor vehicle journeys are between 1 to 5 miles. These are distances that can easily be walked or cycled. There needs to be a focus on changing our streets from being car centric, to one that is based around the movement of people.

    There needs to be investment to widen pavements to enable safe social distancing. With paths redesigned to remove all the clutter and obstacles.

    Serious investment is required in a network of joined up safe segregated cycling infrastructure within our towns and cities to enable people to get to around to the shops, schools and their work.

    Every £ invested in active travel has a far better return than the equivalent £ spent on infrastructure for motor vehicles.
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