Reading East MP, Matt Rodda, was the keynote speaker at the launch of a new report by cycling and walking charity Sustrans at Reading University on Friday.
The report ‘Paths for everyone’ is the first ever audit of the National Cycle Network in the South of England. It found that almost half of the issues with the network in the region are due to traffic safety concerns.
Ahead of the launch, Matt visited Christchurch Bridge with Xavier Brice, Chief Executive of Sustrans. The bridge is part of the National Cycle Network.
Matt said: “Whether it is to get to work or school or for leisure, we need to put people at the centre of the planning and design process, creating routes that are pleasant, safe and attractive, to improve the experience of cycling and walking and to effectively encourage people to walk and cycle much more.”
“Danger, and perceived danger, is a barrier to both cycling and walking, so I welcome Sustrans commitment to make the Network safer. I also welcome their plans to make the Network more accessible and inclusive by reducing barriers that presently prevent some users from accessing the traffic-free sections of the Network in our region.”
“At a time when inactivity and obesity are a national health crisis and congestion clogs up the arteries of our towns and cities, when air pollution is increasing, and green space is being eroded, increasing the opportunities for safe and accessible walking and cycling is needed more than ever.”
“The walking and cycling bridge in Reading is a fantastic example of how investment in walking and cycling infrastructure can transform people’s journeys for leisure, commuting or the school run.”