We want safer streets that will encourage people to walk and cycle.
We need walking and cycling to become the norm for short trips if we are to improve public health.
Our unsustainable transport system inflicts major health problems on the rest of society: injuries and deaths in road crashes, and the damage to health through air pollution and noise pollution. But the ‘active travel’ modes – walking and cycling – have the potential to make a major improvement to Scotland’s health.
Walking and cycling, the healthiest and most sustainable modes of transport, need to have much higher priority if Scotland is serious about improving national public health levels and tackling obesity. Walking is still the second most common mode of transport in Scotland yet remains a marginal consideration within most branches of government. For public health and quality of life reasons, and in order to drive reductions in climate change emissions, the ‘zero carbon transport’ modes should be given priority, not be treated as an afterthought.
Deliver Walking and Cycling Conditions that Match the Best in Europe
Increasing the number of people who cycle would have a major public health benefit and save the Scottish economy up to £4 billion/year. Segregated cycle lanes on primary routes into towns and cities would widen the opportunities for cycling, especially amongst less experienced and younger people. Creating safe and attractive cycling routes would lead to continental-style cycling, which sees all sections of the population using the bicycle as a convenient mode of transportation.
Make Scotland’s Streets Places for People rather than Just for Cars
Our streets have been allowed to become dominated by motor vehicles. They are no longer safe places for children to play, while older people and those with disabilities are particularly affected. We need a people-friendly approach to street design and layout which puts the needs of people above those of cars. Perhaps the single biggest step in making the streets safer (and making them feel safer) is to reduce speeds. We want to see 20mph speed limits become the default speed limit in residential and shopping streets.