Walking and Cycling Need Better Roads, says ABD
Government "Walking Strategy" Makes "Ministry of Silly Walks" look Sensible!
In the wake of the recent obesity report, there has been renewed discussion about ways of encouraging walking and cycling. Unfortunately, the Government's ideas for a "walking strategy" are nothing more than a tired rehash of the unworkable transport policies that have blighted Britain's cities for the past ten years.
MP Andrew Bennett, talking on Radio 4 on 28 May, summarised this nonsensical position very well. Mr Bennett seems to think that mixing pedestrians, cyclists, trucks, cars and buses in close proximity is going to improve things for everyone! Investing in proper roads where traffic flows are unimpeded and where vulnerable road users have dedicated, pleasant facilities separating them from traffic, is according to Bennett, going to make things worse!
"This position is risible," says the ABD's Nigel Humphries. "Nobody wants to walk or cycle down congested roads littered with dangerous traffic calming obstructions and fuming drivers jockeying for position. But Local Authorities have been browbeaten into creating just these conditions for the last ten years - and the results are clear. Britain's cities have ground to a halt, resulting in dangerous conflict between road users. Any improvements in bus services due to bus lanes have been negated by endless red lights and other obstructions supposedly designed to help pedestrians but which in reality turn them into cannon fodder in the war to obstruct motorised traffic. People have voted with their feet and flocked to out of town business, retail and residential developments, which has worsened the very car dependency that people like Mr Bennett are trying to reduce."
It's time to get our cities moving again by putting an end to this shambles. Britain needs better roads - for buses, cyclists and pedestrians as well as cars. This means upgrading access roads and building in separate cycle and walkways which separate traffic from vulnerable road users.