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Published: 4th AUGUST 2021

A ‘Moment of Change’ for Councils to Encourage Commuters to Walk or Cycle to Work

Local authorities have been issued with government guidance to support them in making it easier for people to walk and cycle to work.

people walking and on bikes using a road crossing in a city

Local authorities have been issued with government guidance to support them in making it easier for people to walk and cycle to work.

Local authorities have been issued with government guidance to support them in making it easier for people to walk and cycle to work.

The Department of Transport (DfT) has called on ߣߣƵ to highlight ways in which councils could bring about a more active commute for people returning to workplaces as Covid-19 restrictions lift.

The 60-page publication is intended to provide practical steps to harness an increase in walking and cycling seen during the pandemic.

The DfT has described the context of the Guide's publication as a ‘rare, national, moment of change’.

Blockquote quotation marks
As we emerge from the pandemic and restrictions ease, we should seize the opportunity to bring about lasting, positive behaviour change. We know we need to drive less, and we know people want to walk and cycle more - this guidance document highlights how local authorities can play their part in making that happen. Blockquote quotation marks
Matt Winfield, England Director at ߣߣƵ

Employees’ gradual return to the workplace this summer coincides with the DfT’s introduction of the 2021/22 Capability Fund.

This is a £30million revenue funding pot allocated to all local authorities in England, outside of London.

It's intended to help them plan for good quality active travel infrastructure and to support behaviour change programmes.

The Moment of Change guidance was released by the DfT as part of a raft of announcements being made under the umbrella of a ‘Summer of Cycling and Walking’.

Initiatives for employers

The document lays out how councils can access funding for behaviour change programmes, and how to shape programme design through using a data-driven approach, behaviour change models and more inclusive language and imagery.

It lists initiatives that employers can take to encourage greater uptake of active travel, and it provides communications resources to local authorities after a call for help in promoting the benefits.

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We believe people will walk and cycle more as they begin to commute to their place of work again. The pandemic highlighted the benefits of active travel to personal health and wellbeing, to local communities and to the environment and we should not let this potential moment of change pass us by. Blockquote quotation marks
Matt Winfield, England Director at ߣߣƵ

The DfT commissioned ߣߣƵ to undertake the research stage and to develop the Guidance Pack.

Although there is a focus on cycling, it includes examples of successful walking interventions.

The launch of Moment of Change comes as the Centre for Ageing Better and ߣߣƵ released a new report.

It found that a lack of designated cycle and footpaths, personal safety concerns and declining health are key barriers to people in their 50s and 60s walking or cycling as a means of travel.

It concluded that people in mid and later life are less likely to walk and cycle than younger age groups.

The report calls on local authorities to further capitalise on the shift towards active travel generated by the pandemic and make changes to their areas that make it easier for people to walk and cycle.

Download and read the Moment of Change publication.

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