UK gov't unveils financial support to fuel active travel boom

Policemen patrol near Tower Bridge as a bride is photographed on the bank of Thames river in London, Saturday, July 3, 2021. (Photo: AP)

LONDON, July 30 (Xinhua) -- The active travel boom seen throughout the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to thrive thanks to a 338-million-pound (about 472.2-million-U.S.-dollar) package to boost cycling and walking across Britain, British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced Friday.

This funding will help see the construction of hundreds of miles of new high-quality cycle lanes and aid the delivery of new schemes to encourage walking, according to the British Department for Transport (DfT).

Infrastructure upgrades, changes to The Highway Code and new requirements to ensure that active travel schemes' effects are properly assessed are among the raft of measures included in the Summer of Cycling and Walking document published Friday.

As Britain prepares to host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) later this year, these initiatives are expected to play a key role in the British government's drive to build back greener from the pandemic and achieve net zero emissions by 2050, said the DfT.

Last year saw cycling rise more than in the previous 20 years put together, with the number of miles cycled on British roads rocketing by 45.7 percent to 5 billion.

Independent opinion polling and new research also published by the DfT showed that active travel schemes are supported, on average, by a ratio of two-to-one.