Walking and cycling are the least carbon-intensive ways to travel

However, walking currently accounts for only 4% of the total distance travelled by households with access to a car. Journeys under 2 miles made up around 45% of all urban trips in England, in 2019, and journeys below 5 miles made up 58% of all car trips.

Many of these trips could be walked or cycled, which would help to reduce the 68 metric tons (Mt) carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emitted from cars in 2019. This would benefit local economies, as well as improve people’s health.

More active travel will also make roads quieter, safer and more attractive for people to walk and cycle – a virtuous cycle.

As we decarbonise transport, making all cars, public transport and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) zero emission is part of the solution, but relying solely on zero emission road vehicles isn’t enough.

Road traffic, even on pre-COVID-19 trends, was predicted to grow by 22% from 2015 to 2035, much of it in cities where building new roads is physically difficult and disadvantages communities.

To help avoid a car-led recovery from the pandemic, the government wants walking, cycling or public transport to be the natural first choice for journeys.

Local authorities can play an important role in increasing walking and cycling. Through influencing planning and taking a wider, strategic view of travel infrastructure across their area, authorities can ensure that active travel infrastructure connects residents to services.

As local leaders, authorities have a wide sphere of influence and can lead by example in adopting, promoting and providing infrastructure to enable and encourage active travel with their staff.

Authorities can also work with local businesses, industrial estates and business improvement districts to design specific interventions and behaviour change programmes to enable active travel with their employees and customers.

Full details are found in this link: Active travel: local authority toolkit – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

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