Smart Transport

Increased active travel levels in UK to stay, says DfT

A Department for Transport (DfT) study has shown that of those that walked or cycled more during the Covid-19 lockdown, 94% are likely to continue.

The DfT National Travel Attitudes Study found that between May and July 2020, 39% of people reported that they walked more and 38% reported that they cycled more compared with before the outbreak of the coronavirus.

In response to the statistics Brake, the road safety charity, is urging the Government to move quicker with planned reforms in the updated Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, noting that private car use has been back on the rise since lockdown restrictions were lifted and that the opportunity for reforming the way we move may soon be missed.

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake said: “Walking, cycling, and public transport are at the heart of a safe and healthy future for our communities and we must use all the policy and investment levers we can to make these the natural choices for our journeys.

“The fact that more people walked and cycled during lockdown is welcome, but unsurprising, news– all of us will have seen the joyful sight of roads with fewer cars and more people getting around on foot or by bike, in early summer.

“The fact that nearly all who said they increased their walking and cycling also planned to continue doing so, after lockdown restrictions were lifted, is significant and must make Government press on with reforms, urgently.”

Harris said the figures show that lockdown provided a unique opportunity to change the way the UK moves for good, with the public seemingly behind reforms.

He added: “Unfortunately, with private car use increasing since lockdown restrictions were lifted, this opportunity may have been squandered.”

Watch now: Connecting Policy To Solutions Virtual Conference 2021

Smart Transport Conference returned on June 8th & 9th, to facilitate pivotal discussions on the future of transport. 

The UK’s most senior public and private sector transport leaders discussed the impact of Covid-19, achieving the Government’s decarbonisation ambitions, the need for more efficient living and better health, and much more.

Keynote speakers included: 

Kwasi Kwarteng, secretary of state at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), who spoke on BEIS's approach to decarbonising transport, particularly the electrification of the vehicle industry

Keith Williams, co-author of the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail, who spoke on rail’s role in integrated transport, decarbonisation and innovation.

Rachel Maclean, parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department for Transport, who discussed the future of transport and its pivotal role in a ‘green recovery’ from the pandemic.


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