People in the UK need to shift from cars to active travel to address the challenge of climate change, the government has said in its ‘Creating the transport decarbonisation plans’ published 26 March, 2020.  

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "Public transport and active travel will be the natural first choice for our daily activities. We will use our cars less and be able to rely on a convenient, cost-effective and coherent public transport network." 

Stephen Edwards, Director of Policy and Communications, Living Streets comments:  

“This is a fantastically positive sign that the government is ready to prioritise the cleanest and healthiest forms of travel to really start to fight the climate and air pollution emergencies. 

Health and social care costs of air pollution in England are predicted to reach £5.3 billion by 2035 (Public Health England). We can help tackle this by enabling and encouraging people to walk and cycle more. Never has there been a more important time to reduce the strain on the NHS and safeguard its long-term future.   

Over half (51%, National Travel Survey 2019) of car/van trips made last year were under two miles, these are distances that can easily be walked or cycled by many.  

"Since the public were told to avoid nonessential travel during lockdown, more people are using active travel. The government needs to support people to make these changes in a post-lockdown world by prioritising walking and cycling.” 

Walking up, emissions down