LGA Briefings on Homelessness and example press on Transport Policy

The Local Government Association has produced this briefing on homelessness
https://www.local.gov.uk/parliament/briefings-and-responses/plans-support-people-who-were-previously-homeless-permanent

Please see below example of press work on transport policy from Liberal Democrats in Devon:

CALL FOR MAJOR REVIEW OF SPENDING ON DEVON’S ROADS TO BOOST CYCLING,WALKING & PUBLIC TRANSPORT

– More people expected to cycle and walk to work and school

– Impact on school bus transport if social distancing still in place

– Help make people feel safe when they cycle and walk

– Call to rip-up the highways budget approved in February and start again

A major review of spending on Devon’s roads is being called for by the county’s Liberal Democrats so more can be invested in public transport and boosting support for walking and cycling projects.

One of the impacts of the corona virus is that the way we can use public transport will change and more people are likely to opt to walk or cycle to get to work and school, says Cllr Alan Connett, Liberal Democrat opposition leader at Devon County Council.

The County Council is being asked to approve over £48 million of spending on maintaining Devon’s roads when the county Cabinet meets on Wednesday (13 May).

The Government has also launched a £23 million fund to invest in improving stretches of the National Cycle Network and encouraging more people to cycle and walk, particularly children and young people ‘so that greener travel choices are the norm’, added Cllr Connett.

“In Devon we need to recognise that there will be many people who had not previously thought about cycling or walking to work but will now be dusting off their bikes from the back of the garage or shed and they will be looking to the County Council for support to be able to cycle and walk more safely.

“Also, when schools start back, the whole issue of school bus transport is going to need to be thought about in great detail while social distancing requirements are in place and if face masks will have to be worn, as they may be on public transport.

“While we all recognise that Devon’s roads need to be fixed, the potholes filled and road drainage problems sorted out, now is the time to be looking right across all the County Council’s highways budgets and plans so we can put more into public transport, cycling and walking. The urgency is now, not in the next year’s budget round,” said Cllr Connett.

By choice or necessity, say the Liberal Democrats, it is likely more people will be walking or cycling, or would cycle if they perceived it to be safe and they are calling on the county council to set out a priority list of ‘quick wins’ that will help encourage people to walk and cycle and make it safer for them.

Cllr Connett explained:” We need to involve local cycle groups wherever possible and identify the problem areas that if they were sorted quickly, perhaps even on a temporary basis, we could make it safer for people to cycle and walk and also have time to see how the changes work. If successful they could perhaps be made permanent, and if they don’t work or are not used, they could be quickly taken away.

“As important as links across a town or city are the cycle and walking links from nearby communities as this could also help with the capacity issues there may be on public transport. It’s also the case that if more children are now likely to cycle to school, especially across town, for example, that the county council will need to consider how it adapts roads to make it safer for them.”

“Before the lockdown comes to an end and the schools start back, we need to have really thought about what the new world of travelling to work and school will be. Now is the time to be looking at this in detail and, in effect, ripping-up the highways budget approved in February and starting again,” added Cllr Connett.

Ends

Note to news editors:    Devon County Council’s Cabinet discusses the County’s highways maintenance capital and revenue budgets and on-street Parking Account at items 8 and 9 on the agenda for their meeting on Wednesday 13 May.”

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