In response to proposals by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) which recommend new and upgraded roads prioritise pedestrians, cyclists and public transport over motorised vehicles, RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said:
“While we certainly welcome changes to road design that encourage more people to walk and cycle in towns and cities, the reality is that the use of many roads is inevitably shared between different types of motorised traffic, cyclists and pedestrians – with priority often given to motorised transport in order to keep large numbers of people moving.
“We also shouldn’t forget the vital role motorised transport continues to play in many people’s lives in the UK. It remains the case that using a car is the only feasible option for many people, especially if they are commuting or travelling to locations that aren’t served by public transport, or where walking or cycling are not practical alternatives. Last year a third of drivers said they were more reliant on their car compared to 12 months earlier, with a significant proportion blaming a deterioration in public transport for this.
“It is worth noting that NICE has previously acknowledged the importance of smooth traffic flow in order to reduce air pollution, so we would hope that this new guidance does not result in local planners building or changing roads which results in more congestion and pollution, rather than less.”