A group of experts specialising in climate change have written to Devon County Council praising it for the action taken to close roads to cars during lockdown, asking for the measures to be ‘continued and strengthened.
The scientists welcomes the use of traffic filters-allowing cyclists to pass through but stop vehicles as well as other plans that have been put in place.
“We are writing to express our support for measures that Devon County Council has already begun to take on our local road systems as a contribution to our community’s efforts to reduce our impact on the climate, and for a continuation and strengthening of these measures. We believe these local measures are consistent with the knowledge developed here in Exeter on the impacts of climate change and need to take action to avoid the worst of its impacts, and would like to see them continued and strengthened, ” said the open letter to the council.
“We have been pleased to see that Devon County Council took advantage of funding made available by the government to implement alterations to some of Exeter and Devon’s roads, for example by installing traffic filters which limit vehicular access but allow cycles to pass through.
“This has clearly been successful in encouraging more people to use cycling and walking as a means of local travel, which is a very positive step towards reducing our community’s carbon emissions and hence reduce our impact on the climate. It also has direct health benefits, as it contributes to reduced air pollution and encourages more people to take exercise, which helps tackle the growing obesity crisis in the UK,” said the letter.
The group said it would support and welcome the continued approach to addressing these issues. ” We strongly support the continuation and expansion of these measures, with appropriate adjustments to address specific improvement needs. These are important first steps in tackling climate change, and reversing them would be contrary to the council’s previous pledges and send out the wrong messages. As leading scientists in the field of climate change, we are proud of our association with the city of Exeter and county of Devon, and would very much like to see our community set an example to the rest of the world by continuing to take pro-active steps to reduce our impact on the climate. “