Streets were paved for bicycles not cars. When cars came along, someone waving a red flag had to walk in front of them, because it was recognised they were heavy and potentially fatal. The speed limit was two miles per hour in towns. Then the speed limit was raised to 14mph, then 20mph, then 30mph. The space could no longer be shared safely. People on bicycles and and on foot started to be killed and maimed. Cycling reduced dramatically. Towns became polluted with emissions and traffic noise.
Streets for People is our campaign to change the way we build our infrastructure and use roads, to put people first again and revolutionise cycling and walking.
This means in our towns and cities we:
• Avoid. We design cities to reduce the need to travel far to places we learn, play and work.
• Shift. We make walking and cycling the norm, with prioritised, segregated footpaths and cycle paths. We connect suburbs with accessible bus and rail mass transit systems. We reduce space for motorised vehicles.
• Improve. We use ultra-low emission vehicles (eg electric), enforce default 20mph speed limits and limit size of goods vehicles. We support the development of the future's city cars; automated 'pods' that are small, travel slowly and take up less space (because they are in constant movement so don't need parking.) Automation can particularly help people with mobility problems.
Between places we:
• Invest in public transport (rail and bus) to halt and reverse rising levels of car use
• Update our strategic road network (A roads and motorways) with the safest infrastructure (such as modern crash barriers), recharging points for ultra-low emission vehicles and segregated routes for cyclists
• Use multi-modal solutions for goods transport: prioritising rail to minimise truck mileage and reduce freight miles