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Cycling UK urges councils to “be brave” over bike lanes

Charity highlights that polls consistently show majority in favour of active travel interventions

Cycling UK as urged councils to “be brave” in the face of opposition to initiatives aimed at encouraging active travel, with the cycling charity highlighting four surveys undertaken nationally this year that show widespread support for more such measures.

The surveys – commissioned by the Department for Transport (DfT), Cycling UK, #BikeIsBest and Greenpeace – consistently show that around six in 10 people in the UK want to see more cycle lanes.

A YouGov poll of 2,000 adults undertaken for Cycling UK found that 56 per cent of respondents backed emergency active travel interventions such as bike lanes and low traffic neighbourhoods introduced by councils this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, some schemes have been removed due to vocal opposition from a small minority, backed by certain elements of the press, such as segregated cycle lanes on Kensington High Street in London.

Duncan Dollimore, head of campaigns at Cycling UK, said: “We need local authorities to be brave and to push ahead with more and better active travel projects and not feel bullied into abandoning schemes without any proper evaluation of their benefits just because a minority of people object.

“The simple fact is that we need to make it more appealing for people to cycle and walk, particularly for short journeys, to avoid clogging up our cities with polluting motor traffic and to help make us all fitter and healthier.

“Let’s be bold. Let’s tackle these problems head on and get the country moving again, safely, healthily and cheaply, by foot or by bike where it’s safe and sensible to do so,” he added.

Cycling UK is sending copies of its report, which you can find here, to transport planners in local government across the country.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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