It may be possible that our air can be more breathable eventually as per the air quality plan of government but it is unsuccessful in tackling some of the major problems faced by towns and cities in the UK, and the answer is more number of bikes.
From 2040, all new petrol and diesel cars and vans can be banned and so, retrofit existing vehicles and electric car market will come into support. This seems to be an effective measure to improve the quality of air, but it is almost sure that this can also be a missed chance to think how to move and live in towns and cities.
Moving from petrol and diesel vehicles to electric will definitely result in changing the kind of heavy box they drive all around cities and towns. There is no doubt that this can improve air quality but it cannot do anything to get rid of congestion on streets, and as a result, there will not be any improvement in public health.
There is no major and clearer chance to assist in decreasing air pollution than motivating more people to ride bikes.
Moving from cars to bikes would not only decrease air pollution but helps in solving so many major problems faced by towns and cities.
The worst thing is congestion in cities across the UK. If 2000 people per hour in cars are transported through a 3.5 metre-wide single lane, the same lane can transport 14000 people on bicycles. With the increase in population, the spaces in cities are limited, so the transport planning has to focus more on the well-organized way.
Switching from diesel to electric vehicles will help in decreasing early deaths related to air pollution, it will motivate for physical activity. It has been found from the University of Glasgow that cycling on daily basis reduce the occurrence of heart disease by 46%, death by any reason by 41%, and of cancer by 45%.
It has been calculated by the Transport for London that if all the Londoners cycled or walked for 20 minutes a day, this would save £1.7bn in NHS treatment costs over 25 years in the capital only.
Cities all around the world that have less cars and more bikes are leading in making better cities. These prove to successful and competitive and are identified for this reason only throughout the world – Amsterdam, Utrecht, Copenhagen and Strasbourg are already in the list. Some more cities see more bikes as important for making them better for their people – Paris, Oslo, Barcelona, New York, and Seville, to name.
There are some advantages for the local economy also. Proofs from different places, incorporating surveys in Swansea, Newcastle, and Bristol, exhibit people arriving by foot, bike or public transport supposed to visit retailers more commonly and spend more in store over 30 days.
In collaboration with the TAS Partnership and Living Streets, Sustrans has created the Active Travel Toolbox to assist practitioners and local authorities to make the case for, and to deliver, strategies to improve walking and cycling.
This is developed to connect together problems and people working on them – for instance, spatial planners, transport planners and health practitioners around the same table. It incorporates tools, guidance and case studies to create the economic case for cycling and walking to decision funders and makers and to safeguard plans for local housing growth will set with satisfactory transport modes besides motivating more journeys by cars.
National and local governments are requested to do more to focus across challenges and problems to make sure they focus on providing the most appropriate and productive responses.