The Government has set out its vision for 'integrated sustainable journeys'; encouraging greener modes of transport by making journeys using public transport seamlessly integrated with cycling and walking.
The 'Door to Door' proposals, unveiled by Transport Minister Norman Baker this week, include better information about various transport options, more affordable and simpler ticketing, and better connecting services.
As he launched Door to Door, Mr Baker explained that for journeys of five miles or less, 54 per cent of people still drive, and for longer journeys, it was 80 per cent.
Mr Baker said: "The benefits of improving the door-to-door journey will be felt in a number of ways:
- by increasing use of sustainable transport we can help protect the environment by reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality;
- by improving connectivity and interchange we can help to support economic growth as we better link our businesses and markets and ensure public transport journeys are fast and reliable;
- by providing a well-connected and accessible transport system that is safe and secure we can help improve public health, quality of life and wider well-being; and
- by integrating the door-to-door journey as a whole we are delivering a good deal for the traveller by helping to make travel more reliable and affordable.
"The door to door strategy sets out our vision for using new information technologies, improving ticketing choices, increasing choice and enhancing interchange, all of which will make the door-to-door journey more seamless. We will be working with transport providers, local authorities and representative organisations to challenge them further and help to make our vision a reality."
Malcolm Shepherd, Chief Executive of Sustrans said: "As fuel prices rise and we struggle to find opportunities to live healthy lives, it’s important to ensure it is easier to make journeys by bike, foot or public transport. This strategy reflects the increasing recognition within government that we must invest in creating a high-quality cycling and walking environment and ensure public transport is accessible to all."
One perennial problem for many cyclists is taking bikes on trains, with peak services often banning bikes altogether, or limiting them to one or two per train.
Michael Roberts, Chief Executive for the Association of Train Operating Companies said: "We support the goal of promoting greener and more sustainable forms of transport. Train companies are determined to help more people find alternative ways of getting to their local stations and have already brought about a range of improvements for passengers that want to go by bike or combine local bus and rail travel."
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.