Today marks National Clean Air, and in a bit to reduce air pollution Hull City Council has embarked on plans to transform the way in which we travel.
During lockdown, car usage dropped, bus and trains journeys drastically reduced and people took up the chance to walk and cycle as a means of exercise, and to get out of the house.
And now residents are being encouraged to continue using this active form of transport to not only reduce congestion on the roads, but to help save the environment and improve their overall health.
As a result of this cultural shift in the way in which we travel, the Department for Transport took the opportunity to invite local authorities to bid for its Emergency Active Travel Grant.
Freetown Way has already benefitted from a wider cycle route with light lane segregation, providing a safer travel space for cyclists.
Combined bus and cycle lanes have also been introduced in Spring Bank and Ferensway, increasing the capacity for cyclists and enabling more consistent journey times for buses.
And bus lanes across the city have extended from 7am – 6.30pm in a bid to make cyclists feel safer when using these busy routes.
Councillor Daren Hale, portfolio holder for economic investment, regeneration and planning, said: “Implementing the first stage of the cycle lanes in Freetown Way, Ferensway and Spring Bank took some adjustment, but we’ve spoken to many cyclists who are extremely grateful because they genuinely feel a lot safer when using these roads.
“We are now putting plans in place to begin the second stage of safer cycling routes, because we recognise that by creating a public environment which encourages cycling will not only improve the health and wellbeing of our residents, but will ultimately help to reduce congestion on our roads and improve air quality for all.
“We understand it’s an ambitious strategy, but in order to secure the funding and start the work we had to deliver the first stage of the project within a certain time frame. What we really want to emphasise is that this is a live consultation process done under experimental traffic orders, so the public have time to make any comments to [email protected] before they become a part our permanent infrastructure.”
Clean Air Day is the ideal time to make your pledge to either keep up a healthy habit or introduce a new one. All the movement we do counts – walking to the corner shop, taking the dog to the park, doing the school run and chores like cleaning and gardening. Go to www.gethullactive.co.uk now and join hundreds of Hull residents in making a promise to yourself. Putting a pledge in writing can help you stick to it – and if you can’t think of one, there are plenty others to browse for inspiration.
The authority also has a ten year plan to become carbon neutral, to find out more visit the Hull City Council website.