The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the transition to more environmentally friendly transport, according to new research conducted by Admiral car insurance.
In order to enable social distancing, many cities are prioritising pedestrians and cyclists by adding cycle paths, widening pavements and closing roads.
According to Admiral car insurance, 37% of cities have announced plans to widen footpaths and pathways to allocate more space for pedestrians.
31% of cities have also announced plans for pop-up and temporary cycle lanes. These cycle lanes will also be shared with e-scooters following the government’s recent announcement to allow rented e-scooters to use the same road space as cyclists.
21% of plans also included suggestions to close streets off from motorists at certain times of day to help encourage individuals to walk while also complying with social distancing measures.
Steve Brooks, executive director of external affairs at cycling charity Sustrans commented on this research: ‘How people access their everyday needs and move around cities, towns and neighbourhoods will play a vital role in helping the nation’s future economic recovery.
‘Walking and cycling is an important part of urban resilience. It will play a key role in giving people the space they need to move around safely as we begin life in our new normal.
‘We’ve seen an unprecedented level of active travel investment during the lockdown. This new urgency to invest in walking and cycling as part of the response to the pandemic has the potential to transform the way we move, the way we live and the impact we have on the climate emergency.’
Clare Egan, head of motor at Admiral, said: ‘Many cities around the world have been quick to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and have brought forward some transformational plans to their transport structures aimed at tackling the climate crisis in the process.
‘These changes, if implemented, will have a revolutionary impact on how we get around our cities and will affect everyone regardless of how they choose to travel.’