A five-year settlement for local authorities and a change to the Highways Act to allow delivery in accordance to the imperatives of the time are two of the most important things that should be considered to help support future investment and planning for active travel, according to this week’s guest on the Highways Voices podcast.
The University of Westminster’s Tom Cohen, report author for the latest report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Cycling and Walking (APPGCW). He tells this week’s Highways Voices that there was an agreement among almost all those surveyed that a five-year funding settlement would be ideal to allow a ‘funding horizon’ of five years to enable transport/highway authorities to build teams and manage programmes successfully but at the same time giving central government the fiscal control it needs.
A change to the Highways Act, he said would mean that local authorities could develop and manage their network in accordance with the need to achieve the goals of environmental sustainability and improved public health. “It would need to impose upon highways authorities, a requirement to act in accordance with the imperatives of the time, notably climate change and public health. And there would be an expectation that authorities would, whenever taking action on the highway network, always be looking to improve if at all possible, the arrangements for active travel, and at the very least not to make them any worse,” said Mr Cohen.
The report also recommends that a new standard is created for active travel to ensure councils adhere to issues of justice when planning further active travel.