Lockdown restrictions in the UK have resulted in a huge drop in the use of all transport across the country. People have turned to walking and cycling, for exercise and to travel safely under social distancing guidelines, and the air we breathe has been noticeably cleaner as a result.
Earlier this month, the UK announced £2 billion investment in a “new era for cycling and walking”, and it changed statutory guidance on how local authorities should allocate road space for pedestrians and cyclists.
But without careful government planning as restrictions are lifted, people could shun public transport and active travel in favour of cars, causing congestion and pollution once again, possibly at levels worse than before the pandemic.
Will decisions made now make our transport systems compatible with the government’s net zero target and improve air quality across the country, or will they lock in more carbon intensive infrastructure and behaviours for years to come? What is the potential for new policy and long term behaviour change, and what impact could it have on carbon emissions, air quality and people’s health in the UK?
We will discuss these questions in this hour-long event.
This is the latest in a series of online events we are hosting to discuss the impact of the current health crisis on the environment.
The event will include a Q and A session with the panellists.