An alliance of eight charities and NGOs is calling for recognition of the importance of public, community and shared transport, combined with walking and cycling, to help ensure a ‘green and inclusive’ recovery as the lockdown begins to ease.
The organisations (Bus Users, Campaign for Better Transport, Community Rail Network, Community Transport Association, Collaborative Mobility UK (CoMoUK), Greener Journeys, Living Streets, Sustrans) say that there is currently a chance to reset transport priorities, putting people’s communities, health and wellbeing, and our environment, at the forefront.
Darren Shirley, chief executive, Campaign for Better Transport, says: “Together, our organisations are offering support and expertise, to work with governments and authorities, partners and communities, to forge a more sustainable and inclusive transport future.”
Claire Walters, chief executive, Bus Users, adds: “Public, community and shared transport, alongside and connected with walking and cycling, must be safeguarded, celebrated and developed, to ensure everyone can access sustainable mobility in the future. Evidence shows that this is crucial, for health and wellbeing, community cohesion and resilience, our climate and sustainable development – and for creating the future we all want.”
The groups point to evidence that individuals, families and communities across Britain depend on public, community and shared transport, alongside walking and cycling, for their health, wellbeing and prosperity. A third of people – including many young, marginalised and vulnerable people – don’t have personal access to a car, and reducing private car use is increasingly recognised as fundamental to reducing air pollution and decarbonising.
Stephen Edwards, director of policy and communications, Living Streets, says: “This is about recognising the huge benefits for our communities, our local places and global environments, of reducing private car use, and enabling everyone to get around by healthy, community-minded and environmentally-responsible means. We have a major opportunity at the moment to connect up improvements to walking and cycling with public, shared and community transport, and great gains to be made from this.”