The Transport Secretary has voiced scepticism about changes to road layouts in towns and cities which have seen traffic lanes reassigned as space for cycling and walking.
The Sunday Telegraph has reported Grant Shapps has written a “strongly worded letter” to councils, Grant Shapps warning he is “not prepared to tolerate” badly designed road closures and new cycle lanes which are imposing “sweeping changes” to entire communities.
Back in May Mr Shapps launched a £250 million Emergency Active Travel Fund to promote walking and cycling with councils invited to apply for the cash by drawing up projects intended to entice people away from their cars and take more active forms of travel.
But the Sunday Telegraph adds that critics have complained that badly designed road closures and new cycle lanes have increased traffic and pollution on main roads, private residents have launched legal action, claiming that because the schemes were introduced under emergency Covid powers, disability groups, local residents and businesses were not consulted, while there have been times emergency services have struggled to reach calls in Low Traffic Neighbourhoods because bollards and planters have closed off residential streets to traffic.
The letter, sent on Friday to local authority transport bosses and local highways authorities and seen by The Telegraph, warns how a “notable number of councils used their funding poorly and were simply out of step with the needs of the local communities.”
(Picture – Leicester City Council scheme)