Walking and cycling schemes are good for business, say retailers

Businesses in towns and cities from across the UK have published a series of videos, highlighting the benefits of cycling and walking schemes on the local community.

The short films, which have been produced by walking and cycling charity Sustrans, hear local residents and traders discuss the changes to their streets thanks to the emergency active travel fund and the effect that this has had on their businesses and the community in general.

Speaking on the video, Lorraine Law from Lorraine Law Jewellers said: ‘We’ve noticed more people coming in for a browse. They see the shop is safe, the street is more inviting. We’ve seen new people. When it was open to traffic, you couldn’t see the shops. So, now it actually feels more open.’

Whilst the schemes introduced thanks to the governments emergency active travel fund are only temporary, local authorities are now required to consult with the communities to gather feedback on how measures can be improved, in the view to make them permanent.

Based on this, Sustrans is urging local authorities to engage with residents and businesses to communicate what is happening, why streets changes are needed and to paint a picture of the potential benefits.

Tim Burns, senior policy and partnerships advisor at Sustrans, the walking and cycling charity, said: ‘The Covid-19 pandemic created an urgency to change the way we move around our towns and cities, and these videos showcase the positive impact opening up streets for people to walk and cycle can have on an area as a whole.

‘Temporary schemes enable local residents to see street changes in action, and for local authorities to gather feedback before they are made permanent.

‘It is therefore important, following the recent announcement of the Tranche 2 funding by the UK Government, for local authorities to meaningfully engage with everyone in the community in order to effectively build on the progress that has already been made in so many places. These schemes have the potential to create healthy and equitable public spaces for everyone.’

Photo Credit -Pixabay



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