The Transport Planning Society (TPS) has written to UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak urging continued support for active travel schemes viewing them as “central” to the government’s priorities.
TPS is the professional body for transport planners which is made up of more than 1,400 members in central government, local government and the private sector.
Responding to the PM’s recent pledge to review what he calls ‘anti-car’ schemes, transport planners have set out how active travel and mode-shift schemes such as Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) are “essential” in delivering several of the government’s wider policy goals.
These include developing the economy; tackling inflation and the cost of living; improving public health and cutting NHS waiting lists; and Gear Change which sets the target to increase the proportion of trips in towns and cities made by walking and cycling to 50% by 2030.
For example, evidence from London indicates that walking and cycling schemes increase office and retail rental values; while Public Health England states that walking and cycling improves metabolic health, and reduces risks for several diseases such as heart disease, respiratory diseases and diabetes.
“Our concern is that local improvements to increase transport choice like LTNs risk being characterised as being ‘anti-car’, whereas we think they are ‘pro-people’,” Chair of the Transport Planning Society Ben Plowden told Zag Daily.
“We believe a sustainable and fair transport system should offer people the broadest possible range of choices in how they get access to essential activities like work, shopping and spending time with friends and family.
“This would include not having to travel long distances to do all the things that matter to them and being able to travel on foot, by bike and public transport wherever possible.”