I'm sure there are many people like me who would love to think the world will take the unique opportunity provided by this awful pandemic to reset itself with values to espouse whereby we all strive to live sustainably and tread lightly on the earth.

In an unbelievably short time of world shutdown, pollution has reduced massively.

Local feedback is lockdown has allowed many people to connect with nature in ways they have not done before or have forgotten.

I hate the term 'when we return to normal' when instead we should be talking about the new normal which will put people, the environment and quality of life ahead of GDP and corporate profit/greed.

In terms of easily reducing avoidable car-caused air pollution which affects us all, getting selfish drivers not to idle their engines (which is illegal as well as polluting) would be a good start.

Sadly, this will be a forlorn hope as too many will want to return to old habits as soon as they are given the chance.

For rural dwellers, the car is still the only way to get from A to B but we can still learn to make fewer journeys.

The 20th century view of mobility was that the car is king and key to ‘freedom to’ with no thought given to ‘freedom from’ in a world where every traffic participant is expected to give way to the car.

Those days are over.

Millions of people have recently rediscovered the enjoyment and many benefits of cycling with up to 70 per cent growth reported in some areas.

Cycle shops are struggling to keep up with demand.

Benefits include better health through improved quality of life and increased wellbeing thus reducing demand on the NHS.

Less congestion and much less pollution also save lives.

How people move about in towns and cities in being rethought all over the civilised world.

Transport Minister Grant Shapps is now openly saying authorities should (sic) reallocate road space for walking and cycling.

Locally, the question is will councillors and car driving voters in Corbridge reflect on the ‘car is king’ reasons they demanded the removal of offset Advisory Cycle Lanes on the supposedly 30mph speed limited section of the B6530?

These were so placed to make this road safer for the many cyclists that use it but apparently some drivers couldn’t understand them and didn’t like the idea the centre line had been removed to encourage them to drive slower and be more aware of other road users.


Cycling UK