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TOPIC: Latest government move to encourage active travel: Why are local Tories out of step?

Latest government move to encourage active travel: Why are local Tories out of step?
02 Jan 2023 22:33 #6724

Basil Clarke Basil Clarke's Avatar Topic Author

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Good news today for supporters of measures to encourage "active travel", ie walking, wheeling and cycling instead of driving, in the shape of the announcement below from the government.

Although the sums that the government is investing in active travel pale into insignificance compared with money spent on climate- and community-destroying road schemes, the announcement shows that that the Sunak government recognises the need to "support people to choose cleaner and healthier ways to get around".

It's also evidence that support for active travel wasn't just a personal hobbyhorse of Boris Johnson and his advisor Andrew Gilligan but is continuing because it makes economic sense.

Curious then that local Conservative politicians have voiced implacable opposition to every single active travel measure implemented in Enfield, apart from school streets. They continue to campaign against bike lanes, low-traffic neighbourhoods, an active travel scheme outside the North Mid hospital and even the planned changes in Enfield Town, which will make the borough's focal point much pleasanter and safer for shoppers and diners.


£32.9 million to create national network of active travel experts

From: Active Travel England and The Rt Hon Jesse Norman MP

Published 2 January 2023



Active Travel England is investing £32.9 million to create a national network of experts to work with communities, enhance high streets and make places truly walkable and cyclable for everyone. The fund could see up to 1,300 new green jobs created across England.

Launched today (2 January 2023) by Active Travel Minister Jesse Norman, the fund will drive thousands of well thought-through local plans, co-created with the communities who will use them.

Active Travel Minister Jesse Norman said:

"Leaving the car and walking and cycling instead is an easy way to get fit, save money and reduce your carbon footprint.

"Better designed schemes, which take into account the views of local people will help deliver improvements that have widespread local support.

"Skills training and local community engagement will help local authorities to make active travel an attractive choice for getting around."

The Capability Fund will support local authorities across the country to train and retain local engineers and planners, creating a skilled active travel workforce able to collaborate effectively with local communities and conduct high-quality engagement and consultation sessions.

As well as enabling local authorities to hire and retain skilled professionals, this multi-million-pound investment will deliver specialised training, driving up skills and ensuring consistent, high-quality schemes can be delivered across England that give people truly attractive active travel choices.

The funding will also be used to give travel choice to a wider demographic by engaging under-represented groups, provide cycle training and bike rental schemes.

National Active Travel Commissioner, Chris Boardman, said:

"If we want millions more people to walk, wheel and cycle to schools, shops and workplaces, we need to give them what they need to make the switch.

"Delivering schemes that offer an attractive choice takes technical skill, local knowledge, and community involvement. Survey after survey has shown people want the choice to be able to use the car a bit less and would love their kids to have more transport independence, so we aim to ensure they are at the heart of creating the right solution for their area. 2023 is the year Active Travel England will start to make that happen."

Living Streets Chief Executive, Stephen Edwards, added:

"Our streets are used by everyone, so they should be designed with everyone in mind. The Capability Fund will boost the quality of our places and support people to choose cleaner and healthier ways to get around. We look forward to working with local authorities to increase walking and wheeling across the country."

Funded Activities:

  • bespoke training for local authority officers and local councillors
  • development of Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIPs)
  • network design and planning
  • feasibility studies
  • public engagement/consultation and co-design
  • data and evidence collection

The funding will also be used to engage under-represented groups and enable more children to walk, wheel and cycle to school. Community engagement programmes will give individuals the confidence to walk and cycle safely through cycle training, school walking groups and bike rental schemes.
People will benefit from better access to jobs and education through initiatives such as outreach to schools and employment centres.
Source: UK government press release[/url

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Latest government move to encourage active travel: Why are local Tories out of step?
02 Jan 2023 22:49 #6725

Basil Clarke Basil Clarke's Avatar Topic Author

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Basil Clarke wrote (message 6724) :

Curious then that local Conservative politicians have voiced implacable opposition to every single active travel measure implemented in Enfield, apart from school streets.


More criticism of the policies of local Conservative politicians towards active travel comes in the current issue of the Spectator, a solidly Conservative-supporting journal, in a comment piece entitled Why are the Tories so obsessed with defending motorists? The author points out that for a party that believes that people should pay up for their privileges and not expect handouts from the state:

There’s no philosophical reason why the Tories should automatically oppose these measures [LTNs and the ULEZ expansion]. As a party of the market, the Tories should favour charging for the negative externalities cars cause. Motor vehicles take up space and, especially older ones, churn out pollution, both carbon dioxide and other particulates that harm health. If these aren’t being paid for by the drivers, on the basis of usage, then they are met elsewhere – either from other taxes that have to compensate, or losses to the economy from delays and from the impacts of environmental damage. If the polluter or user doesn’t pay, the externalities don’t disappear, but are socialised.


The answer, he writes, is that "The Tories, however, are too reliant on drivers’ votes to let that happen", but, he says, this may not be as popular as they believe:

Despite its loudness, opposition to LTNs proved to be a minority view. [...] Though they might enjoy a concentrated electoral gain, the Tories’ pro-car mindset could cost them elsewhere.


Source: www.spectator.co.uk/article/why-are-the-tories-so-obsessed-with-defending-motorists

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Latest government move to encourage active travel: Why are local Tories out of step?
08 Jan 2023 10:10 #6733

Karl Brown Karl Brown's Avatar

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Basil highlights a discrepancy between our local and national conservatives in active travel. But that’s not true country wide. I recently pointed out that Canterbury conservatives plans to make the whole city a mosaic of LTN’s and now conservative Cornwall plan to bring a 20mph speed limit to all residential streets. They cite (generic) support of the UN and the WHO, plus trials in Bath where casualty figures fell by 23% after a 20mph limit was introduced. Such a move is long overdue in Enfield. I would go as low as 10mph in dense pedestrian areas such as main shopping streets and outside public transport hubs.

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