Residents to get new decision-making powers in cycling 'revolution' | The Guardian

Steven Edwards
 

Residents to get new decision-making powers in cycling revolution'




Measures include watchdog to ensure quality and safety of walking and cycling routes

Residents will get powers to banish through-traffic from local streets and councils will be prevented from building substandard cycle lanes under what Downing Street has billed as a revolution for cycling and walking in England.

The plans will see the creation of a watchdog to ensure new cycle and walking routes are up to standard, intended to act as a transport equivalent of the schools inspectorate, Ofsted.



Active Travel England, to be led by a yet-to-be-appointed commissioner for walking and cycling, will refuse to fund paint-only bike lanes – without physical barriers or protection from cars – or routes where cyclists and pedestrians have to share space. It could also cut budgets in other areas for highways departments which fail to deliver on active transport.



The plans, led by Boris Johnson, will be funded by a previously announced £2bn in new funding over five years, with a pledge of longer-term money. They include cycle training for every child or adult who seeks it, a pilot scheme for GPs to prescribe cycling to improve patients’ health, and thousands of miles of protected bike lanes.

Local people will be given a chance to choose whether residential side streets should be closed to through motor traffic to make them safer for pedestrians and cyclists, under plans to be put out for consultation.



Another proposal could see some main roads, for example in cities, kept as through-routes for pedestrians, cyclists and buses, with other motor traffic allowed access only.



Also on the table are grants to help people with the cost of electric-assist bikes, which can encourage cycling, particularly on longer or more hilly commutes. However, these tend to be more expensive than traditional bikes, often costing well over £1,000. It has not yet been specified how much assistance might be offered.



Join main@camdencyclists.groups.io to automatically receive all group messages.