Sunday, 10 May 2020

New £2 billion package to support cycling & walking in UK

We were heartened to hear the announcement by Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps on Saturday 9 May 2020.  If there is a positive to come from the recent COVID—19 crisis, it is the effect that it has had on the environment, including more people walking & cycling to take their daily exercise plus get themselves around.

The Government announced plans to boost greener, active transport including pop-up bike lanes with protected space for cycling, wider pavements, safer junctions and cycle and bus-only corridors.  The plans come as part of a £250 million emergency active travel fund, the first stage of a £2 billion investment.

There have been unprecedented levels of walking and cycling in the UK during the pandemic and these plans will help people avoid public transport, making healthier habits easier to maintain.

Managing Director of The Bicycle Hub, Steve Short says “We have seen a significant increase for our services since the beginning of the pandemic from new & second-hand bike sales to servicing & repairs, plus bike hire for key workers to help them with an alternative way to get to work.  We are pleased to hear that the Government is planning to continue to encourage people to be active as we continue in lockdown and eventually begin to lift restrictions across the UK.  We know that our own Cheltenham MP, Alex Chalk is a huge cycling advocate and look forward to hearing more about what the local authorities intend to do with these funds in our local area.”

The Government has indicated that vouchers will be available for cycle repairs to encourage people to get their old bikes out, plus offering a greater provision of bike fixing facilities and highlighting the Cycle to Work Scheme.  The Bicycle Hub is still open and offering bike servicing and repairs, sales of new & second-hand bikes and we are also part of the Cycle to Work Scheme.