The Government has published new guidance on how to travel safely during the Covid-19 outbreak – reiterating its preference for active travel.
The guidance, issued ahead of the easing of lockdown restrictions on 13 May, provides information for people walking, cycling and using private vehicles – as well as taxis and public transport.
It urges the public to avoid public transport wherever possible – and to think carefully about the times, routes and ways they travel.
On 9 May, the Government outlined the key role active travel will play in the UK’s transition out of lockdown restrictions, backed by a new £2bn funding package.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps stressed why a modal shift towards active travel is important to help maintain social distancing as people begin to return to work.
The new guidance says active travel can ‘reduce pressure on the public transport system and the road network’ – providing tips on how to stay safe while social distancing.
For example, it provides information on what to do when approaching or passing other pedestrians – or waiting at crossings and traffic lights.
For those cycling, the guidance repeats the message to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds – or sanitise – before and after each journey.
When it comes to driving, the message is to plan your route, including any breaks, before setting out – and try to stay as local as possible to your home.
The guidance says some routes may differ from that which drivers are expecting, as local authorities make changes to some roads to enable social distancing on pavements and cycle paths.