Your article highlights how important it is for both central and local governments to work together to ensure that the reduction in car use we saw during the lockdown continues now that measures are easing. Walking and cycling has proved to be an important part of our fight against the virus. In May, the government announced the emergency active travel fund, urging local authorities to reallocate road space to walking and cycling in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

Eighty-nine local authorities have implemented a total of 503 schemes that make more space for pedestrians and cyclists. This is a positive step forward in ensuring people are able to move around their towns and cities in a safe and socially distanced way, while also addressing the social inequalities that have been highlighted during the pandemic.

Covid-19 has made it clearer than ever that we need to change the way we move around in order to create healthy and equitable places for people to live and work. Data from Bike Life 2019 shows that mobility for many people in the UK is not equal or inclusive. With 46% of those in socioeconomic groups D and E in 12 major UK urban areas not having access to a car, cycling infrastructure is a matter of social justice.

Therefore it is important, as lockdown rules continue to ease, that we do not solve one crisis by perpetuating others, and that the temporary traffic measures that have been rolled out become part of a long-term solution to urban mobility.
Rachel White
Head of public affairs, Sustrans