Researchers Urge Priority for Active Travel for Any Necessary Movement During COVID-19 Pandemic
Words by Harrie Larrington-Spencer.
As the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly escalates across the UK and beyond, there is increasing necessity for social distancing and limiting access to many places and activities in order to reduce the of transmission of the virus. These restrictions are put in place not only to protect ourselves, but also to protect those more vulnerable due to age or compromised immune systems.
With social distancing and the increasing likelihood of a policy that will mean asymptomatic people should stay in their homes, we at Walk Ride GM support the call on the government by health and active travel researchers to protect the right to walk and cycle safely, as described in their open letter, here.
People should of course be encouraged to exercise at home where possible. However, for shopping and commuting, walking and cycling should be supported, not prevented. According to the health and active travel experts in their open letter this should involve:
- Ensuring parks and other green spaces are kept open, with appropriate management if needed;
- Emergency cycling and walking infrastructure provisioned for commuting and getting to the shops;
- Government provision of guidance for people walking and cycling in order to reduce risk and ensure social distancing.