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Sustrans welcomes Government’s urban strategy for future of mobility

Walking and cycling Sustrans has welcomed the Government’s Future of Mobility: Urban Strategy, which was announced yesterday.

The review will explore regulations around new types of vehicles including e-scooters and e-cargo bike trailers, how sharing data can improve services by reducing congestion, and how journey planning and payment can be made more simple.

Alongside this, the Government is launching a competition for up to four new ‘future mobility zones’, backed by £90 million, to test ideas to improve journeys for people across the country. The strategy also sets out nine key principles that will guide Government decision-making going forward, ensuring that emerging transport technologies are safe, accessible and green.

Future of mobility minister Jesse Norman said: “We are at a potentially pivotal moment for the future of transport, with revolutionary technologies creating huge opportunities for cleaner, cheaper, safer and more reliable journeys. Through this strategy the Government aims to take advantage of these innovations; connecting more people and bringing big benefits we hope for both the economy and the environment.”

Xavier Brice, CEO for Sustrans, said: “We very much welcome that the strategy puts walking and cycling at the heart of future urban mobility, one of nine sound principles the UK Government has defined to facilitate innovation in urban mobility.

“The future of our towns and cities depends on our ability to move around sustainably and on solutions that have a better impact on public health, congestion and urban space. This is why it is good to see the principle that walking, cycling and active travel must remain the best options for short urban journeys.

“Over the next decade technology is going to drive a revolution in transport as big as the railways and the internal combustion engine; one that could result in greener and more convenient travel for everyone. But we need to start with the end in mind. What type of places do we want to live in? What type of lives do we want to lead? And nothing is better at creating healthier places and happier lives for everyone than investing in solutions that make it easier to walk and cycle.

“With leadership and action, the Government has a clear opportunity to transform walking and cycling for today’s and future generations.”

The Government has also announced the first winners of the Transforming Cities Fund, and has awarded £60 million to ten city regions for schemes supporting low-carbon vehicles, cycling and walking projects, and smart traffic controls. The Transforming Cities Fund aims to invest in public and sustainable transport infrastructure in some of England’s largest city regions, encouraging an increase in journeys made by low carbon modes.

It has also published its response to the Last Mile call for evidence, outlining a range of measures to support cleaner and more sustainable last mile deliveries. These include increasing the uptake of e-cargo bikes and e-vans. In addition, working with the Energy Saving Trust, the Government is also now inviting expressions of interest for £2 million of funding to support the uptake of e-cargo bikes.

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