The government recently announced a fund of £250m was available to councils to boost efforts to promote healthy transport and the Island’s 2019 Labour candidate thinks we should be taking advantage of it.
In reaction to the coronavirus pandemic, the Department for Transport’s (DfT) fast-tracked statutory guidance states local authorities ‘in areas with high levels of public transport use should take measures to reallocate road space to people walking and cycling’.
The government also plans to create ‘a national cycling and walking commissioner and inspectorate’ as part of a revamped national cycling and walking strategy this summer.
Island Labour’s 2019 candidate, Richard Quigley, said: “We welcome the govt initiative to promote active travel to aid social distancing.
“The provision of extra funding to provide pop up cycle lanes, widened pavements and car free areas will be vital in controlling the virus as we come out of lockdown.
“Our concern is we have heard nothing in terms of a plan from our council. I would encourage them to liaise with local expert groups such as Cycle Wight and IWALC, to put together a plan that helps people on the Island travel to
their place of work safely.
We would strongly support plans to improve cycle lanes and develop other socially distanced active travel plans. That really would be something the Island could lead on and the rest of Britain could follow."