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Government Pledges £2 Billion To Boost Cycling And Walking

Government Pledges £2 Billion To Boost Cycling And Walking

The UK Government has announced a £2 billion package to boost cycling and walking as the country emerges from the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking during today's media briefing, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the money will 'put cycling and walking at the heart of our transport policy'.

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He went on: "The first stage, worth £250 million is a series of swift emergency interventions to make cycling and walking safer. Pop up bike lanes, wider pavements, cycle and bus only streets are all examples of what people will start to see more of."

Earlier in the briefing, he said: "I'm setting out an ambitious programme to help prepare our transport network for the critical role it will play as we emerge from this crisis. Importantly, it is true to say that moving beyond Covid will be a gradual process, not a single leap to freedom. When we do emerge the world will seem quite different, at least for some time.

"The need to maintain social distancing means that our public transport system cannot go back to where it left off."

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Highlighting what he described as a 'stark fact', Mr Shapps went on: "Even with public transport reverting to a full service, once you take into account the two metre social distancing rule, there would only be effective capacity for one in ten passengers in many parts of our network - just a tenth of the old capacity.

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"So getting Britain moving again while not overcrowding our transport network is going to require many of us to think very carefully about how and when we travel."

The Transport Secretary encouraged people to continue using bikes (and legs) to get around, as he added: "During the crisis, millions of people have discovered the benefits of active travel. By cycling or walking, many have been able to appreciate this remarkably warm spring whilst sticking to the guidelines.

"In some places there's been a 70 percent rise in the number of people with bikes - whether that's for exercise or necessary journeys like stocking up on food.

"So whilst it's crucial that we stay at home, when the country does get back to work we need to ask those people to carry on cycling and walking and for them to be joined by many others as well."

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Topics: News, Coronavirus, covid-19 positive, UK

Rebecca Shepherd

I'm Becky - a journalist at LADbible. I graduated with a First Class BA in Journalism before going on to cover criminal court cases, medical tribunals and breaking news for the national media - which inevitably and eventually became as glum as it sounds. Can often be found rocking a bag for life - which I made a 'thing' way before Rihanna. You can contact me at [email protected]