Sustrans says ’20-minute’ neighbourhood concept should be ’embedded’ in the local and nation planning system

The 20-minute neighbourhood concept should be embedded at the heart of the planning nationally and locally.

That is the opinion of Xavier Brice, Chief Executive Officer of Sustrans, in response to the Queen’s Speech.

“With the rising cost of living and worsening inequality, it is critical that the Government is addressing the planning system with the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill. Planning desperately needs to be repurposed to deliver net-zero, well designed and affordable places to live,” he said.

“The 20-minute neighbourhood concept should be embedded at the heart of planning national and locally, so that people are able to reach the things they need within a short walk of their home and are not dependent on the car for everyday needs.

“We are also pleased to see a Transport Bill in the Queen’s Speech.

“Great British Railways should be mandated to maintain and actively enhance any active travel infrastructure, particularly crossings of the railway, as part of any upgrade or project and this should be included in the Bill,” he added.

Also commenting on the Government’s announcement of a new Transport Bill as part of the Queen’s Speech, Cllr David Renard, Transport spokesperson for the Local Government Association said:

“Councils are determined to tackle climate change and are already supporting the transition to electric vehicles. It is good that the Queen’s Speech outlines ambitions to speed up this transition but councils need clarity about their role in delivering this change.

“Encouraging greater use of the passenger transport network, including rail but also buses, is an important way of tackling poor air quality and meeting net-zero targets. Any new railway body must work with councils closely, who have a key role to play supporting investment in local railway infrastructure and regeneration of communities.

“It is disappointing that the Queen’s Speech did not give councils the powers they need to tackle the scourge of pavement parking, which presents a danger to pedestrians and vulnerable people. We urge the Government to take urgent action and make our streets safer for everyone.”  

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