Cllr Martin Tett, the Local Government Association’s Transport spokesman, responds to guidance published today by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, calling for councils to encourage people to be more active.
“This guidance reflects what councils are already striving towards for the benefit of motorists, cyclist and pedestrians, but with significant funding pressures this list of expectations is more idealistic than realistic.
“Councils have made some progress in tackling the backlog of road repairs, filling a pothole every 21 seconds. However, increasing traffic levels and more cars on our roads means that government needs to keep the funding of local roads as a priority in its spending plans to enable councils to embark on the widespread improvement of our roads that is desperately needed.
“We are urging government to publish more details on its Accessibility Action Plan, which will reform traffic regulation orders and make them cheaper and less bureaucratic. This would give councils more flexibility in their local area to tackle pavement parking, and make sure that pathways are clear for their residents.
“Councils would like to have the option for a default ban, with the ability to allow pavement parking in certain circumstances, as is currently available in London. This will enable local authorities, through consultation with communities, to better protect vulnerable pedestrians and provide a more consistent approach for all road users.
“Councils know the environment can play a major role in improving people's health and wellbeing, and are already taking steps to change the environment by promoting active travel and physical activity, with greater provision and access to green spaces.”