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eCargo bike victory

Hello <<First Name>>

We scored another campaigning victory this month with the launch of the Government’s eCargo bike grant fund, something we originally called for back in 2017. The fund will help more businesses ditch diesel vans and create cleaner, greener towns and cities. Improving the uptake of eCargo bikes will cut congestion, reduce carbon dioxide emissions and improve air pollution, so it’s a real victory for sustainable transport.

The funding covers up to 20 per cent of the total cost of an eCargo bike, up to a maximum of £1,000 per bike, and is available to limited companies, sole traders, partnerships, charities and not-for-profit organisations.

Find out more

The future of mobility?

The Government has published its Future of Mobility: Urban Strategy which it says is ‘the biggest review into transport in a generation’. Transport is changing and we think the Government is right to look at removing the barriers that hold back our transport system from becoming more sustainable. Whether it’s new technology or ways to make walking and cycling more attractive, we need to make travelling around our towns and cities easier, cheaper, cleaner and more reliable.

As part of the Strategy the Government has created ‘Future Mobility Zones’, with the West Midlands as the first one. Transport for the West Midlands is proposing a mobility voucher scheme, similar to what we called for last year, to encourage people to swap their cars for credits towards more sustainable forms of transport like car sharing, public transport or electric vehicle hire. Enabling people to move to more sustainable transport like this will help take the most polluting vehicles off the road quicker and improve the health and wellbeing of communities adversely affected by air pollution.

We look forward to working with the Government and communities to ensure that sustainable transport and new technology aren't hindered by outdated regulation.

Stonehenge Examinations opens

The A303 Stonehenge Examination in Public opened last week and will run for a maximum of six months. Mainly consisting of written evidence, there will be just a handful of issue specific hearings. There are still number of important documents to be submitted to the panel, and water monitoring at Blick Mead is yet to be completed, but with pressure mounting on Highways England over this highly controversial scheme we will continue to play an active role opposing the plans.

Fewer HGVs equals less road closures

Earlier in the year we sent a Freedom of Information request to Highways England to find out how many critical incidents resulting in road closures of more than five hours on the strategic road network involved Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs). The answer was startling.

HGVs were involved in 43 per cent of critical incidents lasting more than five hours, and 56 per cent of critical incidents lasting more than ten hours on motorways and trunk roads last year. This despite the fact that HGVs account for just one in ten vehicles on our motorways. Moving freight off the roads and onto the railways would not only have environmental and congestion benefits, it would also be safer and reduce the number of hours lost to road closures every year.

Better, not bigger

The Government will publish the next phase of its Road Investment Strategy (RIS2) later this year which sets the budget and programme for Highways England’s work. We want to see more of the roads budget used to meet people’s day to day transport needs; things like fixing local roads, making it safer to walk and cycle, and investing in better bus facilities. We think Highways England should focus on making the road network better, not bigger, by making use of the designated funds we helped secure.

We were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Simon Norton last month, a long-time friend of Campaign for Better Transport. As well as being a world-class Cambridge mathematician, Simon was a passionate and principled transport campaigner. His involvement with Campaign for Better Transport went back 30 years and he will be sadly missed.
Read our blog on Simon Norton

Good bye till next time

Bridget

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