Conducted during the pandemic, the Department for Transport’s National Travel Attitudes Study found that, between May and July 2020, 39% of people reported that they walked more and 38% reported that they cycled more, than before the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Interestingly, of those that reported that they were walking or cycling more, nearly all (94%) thought it likely that they would continue to do so, once travel restrictions were removed.
Brake, the road safety charity, is urging the Government to move quicker with planned reforms in the updated Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, noting that private car use has been back on the rise since lockdown restrictions were lifted and that the opportunity for reforming the way we move may soon be missed.
Commenting, Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake said: “Walking, cycling, and public transport are at the heart of a safe and healthy future for our communities and we must use all the policy and investment levers we can to make these the natural choices for our journeys.
“The fact that more people walked and cycled during lockdown is welcome, but unsurprising, news– all of us will have seen the joyful sight of roads with fewer cars and more people getting around on foot or by bike, in early summer. The fact that nearly all who said they increased their walking and cycling also planned to continue doing so, after lockdown restrictions were lifted, is significant and must make Government press on with reforms, urgently.
“These figures show that lockdown provided a unique opportunity to change the way we move, for good, with public will seemingly behind reforms. Unfortunately, with private car use increasing since lockdown restrictions were lifted, this opportunity may have been squandered.”