Gear Change One Year On is one of the cycling and walking documents published by the DfT on 30th July 2021.
The Introduction notes that there has been a very significant increase in traffic on England’s urban roads recently. Between 2010 and 2019 traffic grew by:
- 25% in urban areas
- 33% on side streets
When impractical options like demolishing buildings to make way for new roads are ruled out, we are left with only one realistic solution: make better use of the roads we already have, by encouraging bikes and buses, that take up less space per passenger.
New and Continuing Commitments
The most interesting section of the report is New and Continuing Commitments. In it, the DfT commits to an increase in spending on active travel this year from £257 million to £338 million, as I’ve noted in other recent posts.
Councils that perform poorly on active travel can have their wider transport budgets reduced.
Active Travel England, a body already announced some time ago, is to be set up and begin work in the autumn.
ATE will examine applications for funding and refuse any that are not LTN 1/20-compliant. It will also inspect finished schemes to see that they have been completed as promised, and it will act as a statuory consultee on larger planning applications.
A national e-cycle support programme is to be launched this autumn.
A new road safety strategic framework is to be developed, based on the Safe Systems approach.
The DfT is analysing replies to the pavement parking consultation that took place last year, and will publish its response later this year.