The Director General for Roads, Places and Environment at the Department for Transport, Emma Ward has written to all combined, local transport and local highway authorities outside of London asking for a collaborative approach to restarting local transport delivery in the UK.
She also reinforced the message of the sector moving towards a focus on ‘green transport’ including cycling and walking as well as the importance of data and evidence about early travel patterns after the lockdown has been slowly lifted.
“The local transport network is an important enabler, with impacts beyond local authority boundaries and on a wide range of people, businesses, and services. It will therefore be important to take a collaborative approach to planning,” Ms Ward said in the letter. “
“The Department for Transport is looking to upper tier local highway/Combined Authorities to lead the overall transport planning working across their area, bringing the most important local partners together on a very regular basis to drive forward work at pace. We also expect lower tier authorities to cooperate fully with, and respond rapidly to, the area-wide planning, particularly where their action is required – for example to re-allocate road space or manage pedestrian movements. We are exploring the potential for linking local highway and transport authorities with volunteers who may be able to help with giving information and guidance to the travelling public,” she added.
“It will be vital to provide more space for walking and cycling, both to shift capacity from public transport and to enable social distancing – particularly in urban areas. There will also be significant public health and other benefits to this approach. To support this change in approach, the Secretary of State announced a new £250 million emergency active travel fund on 9 May1 to support implementation of pop-up bike lanes, widened pavements, and cycle and bus-only corridors. This represents the first part of a longer-term cycling and walking programme for the next Spending Review period, announced through the £5 billion buses, cycling, and walking package on 11 February. My team will be in touch shortly to agree the scope, delivery arrangements, and allocations for the funding.”
To read the letter in full, please click here: