Cycling in Yorkshire & Beyond

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Sustrans Manifesto 2024

Sustrans manifesto 2024
Sustrans manifesto 2024, photo by Mark Radford

Sustrans have published a manifesto, asking the next UK government to take five steps to improve our neigbourhoods, health and economy.

The five steps are:

  1. Make our streets safe for children
  2. Give everyone access to a bike
  3. Build developments where all the essentials are close by
  4. Make the National Cycle Network work for everyone
  5. Create a transport strategy that works for everyone

The manifesto sets out the requests in more detail. It is subtitled ‘Making it easier for everyone to walk, wheel and cycle’.

Sustrans point out that most people want to use their cars less and travel sustainably more often.

Graphic from Sustrans manifesto
Graphic from Sustrans manifesto

This would improve our health and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

1) Make Our Streets Safe for Children

Sustrans say that every parent should be able to let their children play, meet friends and get around their neighbourhood without worrying about risks from traffic, but the dominance of cars on our streets often prevents this.

To change things, the government should:

  • keep pavements free of cars
  • create safe routes to school and
  • double the length of traffic-free and quiet road cycle routes

Measures that would help create safe routes to school include side-road zebras and School Streets.

In relation to cycle routes, the manifesto says:

‘Only 31% of people say their streets are safe for children cycling.

Traffic-free routes, along with routes on quieter roads, are proven to help new people cycle, especially children’.

sustrans manifesto

2) Give Everyone Access to a Bike

This includes:

  • providing financial support to people who are excluded from the Cycle to Work scheme, so they can buy bikes
  • remove VAT from children’s cycle sales; four in ten children don’t have bikes, and this rises to five in ten in low-income households
  • improve access to cycle parking at home, as this can be a reason some people don’t have a bike

3) Build Developments Where All the Essentials Are Close By

Sustrans say that 55% of people support a ban on new housing in areas where driving is the only practical transport option.

The next government should:

  • change planning so that new homes are built near jobs, shops and other facilities. Developments should be denser, with traffic-free paths and public transport links
  • prioritise safe walking, wheeling and cycling routes in new developments
  • ensure everyone can access nature, partly by investing in the NCN

4) Make the NCN Work for Everyone

The current patchwork of small one-off grants doesn’t enable strategic, long-term plans for the NCN.

It needs:

  • a 5-year investment plan as part of the next CWIS
  • long-term investment that will enable Sustrans to maintain the NCN properly in the face of challenges such as climate change-induced flooding
  • long-term investment to improve access to the NCN, including removing thousands of barriers, and targeting urban areas with high levels of deprivation

5) Create a Transport Strategy that Works for Everyone

Sustrans say that England lacks a national transport strategy.

The next government should:

  • develop an integrated transport strategy for England. It should place walking, wheeling and cycling and public transport at its heart, and that will feed through to regional and national LTPs
  • shift resources away from road-building and into active travel and public transport. The aim would be to reduce traffic
  • focus roads investment on better maintaining existing streets rather than building new ones
Sustrans Manifesto 2024

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