Prioritise walking and cycling

Written by Alex Bennett

Social media executive

New proposals from the UK Government detail planning guidelines that urge local councils to prioritise cycling and walking as preferred modes of transport.

Prime Minister Theresa May unveiled a new draft National Planning Policy Framework urging local authorities in England to ensure provisions are made for cycling and walking in their planning policies.

Reporting for Bike Biz, Carlton Reid explains that although the media focus was on May’s urging of construction firms to put building more houses over profits, there was virtually no mention of the inclusion of prioritising cycling and walking in the draft guidelines.

Although the mention of cycling and walking in the NPPF is small, cycle-aware planners have welcomed the inclusion.

The NPPF guides councils on planning related manners, from housing to the natural environment, and the inclusion of cycling and walking could help bolster support for local authorities to promote active travel.

According to paragraph 105 of the draft document, “Planning policies should [inter alia] provide for high quality walking and cycling networks and supporting facilities such as cycle parking – drawing on Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans.”

Within paragraph 110 it states, “applications for development should give priority first to pedestrian and cycle movements, both within the scheme and with neighbouring areas.”

Reid also points out that the draft is not entirely positive with regards to cycling and walking.

The government have dropped any reference to ‘Garden City Principles’, designed to encourage the development of sustainable communities.