The Government is being urged to embrace cycling and other clean and healthy travel options, rather than relying on ‘technofixes’ in order to tackle Britain’s pollution crisis.
A Government consultation – held ahead of the publishing of the latest draft of its Clean Air Strategy – closed on 14 August.
The strategy outlines Government plans to reduce air pollution to deliver health benefits, protect nature and boost the economy.
The latest draft follows two previous attempts to adopt policies to tackle air pollution in the UK, both of which were subject to successful legal challenges.
Cycling UK says the latest strategy is ‘simply attempting to deflect attention onto other sources of pollution besides road transport’, due to the Government’s ‘persistent unwillingness to reduce motor traffic volumes and promote clean and healthy alternatives’, such as cycling.
Cycling UK’s response to the Government consultation calls for a strengthened strategy which ‘aims for fewer cars, not just newer cars’.
The charity is also calling for a rebalance of overall transport spending to allow ‘significantly increased’ investment in the Government’s Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS).
It outlines support for the uptake of e-bikes and stresses the need for public awareness campaigns to positively promote cycling.
Roger Geffen, Cycling UK’s policy director, said: “Air pollution kills, while cycling saves lives.
“The Government needs to stop placing all its faith in technofix solutions, and instead provide wholehearted support for cycling.
“The benefits wouldn’t just be cleaner air, but also safer and less congested streets, reduced healthcare costs and a better quality of life for all.”