Pressure mounts for £3bn in green road retrofits

Aaron Morby 10 years ago
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Green campaigners are calling for £3bn to be invested over the next five years in a raft of ‘green retrofit’ improvements for existing roads.

An alliance of environment and transport groups, including the Campaign to Protect Rural England and the Campaign for Better Transport, is seeking to influence the upcoming Road Investment Strategy, due to be published by the Government this Autumn.

Campaigners want to see England adopt similar approaches to Holland, which now boasts more than 600 green bridges across roads.

England has one of the lowest rates of bus use and cycling in the EU, while 3 million people are exposed to noise levels from roads above international standards and biodiversity continues to decline.

The Bigger not better report also calls for design changes to reduce the visual and landscape impact of roads, including lighting and new barriers and better management to reduce traffic noise.

Ralph Smyth, Transport Campaign Manager, Campaign to Protect Rural England, said: “England’s roads are a generation behind countries like the Netherlands and not just in relation to cycle facilities.

“While the Dutch now have over 600 green bridges across their roads, a measure increasingly copied in Eastern Europe, we have barely a couple.

Sian Berry, Roads and Sustainable Transport Campaigner, Campaign for Better Transport, said: “The Government’s Road Investment Strategy needs to focus on how existing roads can be improved, not on building road capacity.

“Compared with £15bn for new road capacity, £3bn is a small amount to pay for the huge impact of cleaner, quieter roads, more efficient public transport and continuous green spaces.

“We need only look at Holland for inspiration, where hundreds of schemes have reduced the impact of roads and re-connected vital sections of countryside to benefit wildlife and people alike.”

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