News

Report on active travel in the East

We need to help people in the region walk and cycle more often, if the East is to meet ambitious net zero carbon emission targets. More trips by foot or bike would also bring health, economic, safety and environmental benefits. This is the conclusion of a joint report by Transport East and Sustrans on active travel.

The report looks at how our diverse region, with urban, rural and coastal areas, could meet the Government’s ambitions for a step-change in walking and cycling which were set out in Gear Change.

More people have been walking over the last five years, but cycling levels have gone down. The report highlights the challenges and opportunities in the region for increasing active travel.

Commenting on the report, Cllr Kevin Bentley, Chair Transport East said:

“Transport East has an ambitious vision for half of all journeys within towns and cities to be made by people walking or cycling by 2030, in line with government targets. Increasing the amount of people travelling actively will reduce congestion, improve people’s quality of life and reduce our emissions. Our councils are already taking clear steps towards this goal but need consistent and increased funding for active travel.”

 

Recommendations

The report sets out what the region needs to deliver the ambition.

  • Funding certainty for local authorities to plan, deliver and maintain high-quality walking and cycling infrastructure
  • More flexibility to plan walking and cycling improvements alongside public transport upgrades making it easier for everyone to travel sustainably
  • Greater recognition of the benefits increased active travel can bring to people, places and the environment
  • Putting good walking and cycling routes, and public transport links at the centre of new developments

Our local councils are working hard to improve routes and encourage people to choose walking and cycling. They secured over £14m in government funding in FY 2020-21 for active travel projects. But if communities in the East are benefit from a step-change in walking and cycling, a more strategic approach is needed.