From our Swindon correspondent:
From the BBC
Mr Shapps, who was speaking a day before the prime minister is due to address the country on lockdown measures, said there had been unprecedented levels of walking and cycling during the pandemic.
Yes. There’re lots of people stuck at home, with not much else they can do but go out for a walk or cycle ride. And the weather is good. And the roads are rather empty so not too dangerous.
He said: “Whilst it’s crucial that we stay at home, when the country does get back to work we need to ask those people to carry on cycling or walking and for them to be joined by many others as well.”
Ask all you like. I suspect when the traffic builds back up a bit and people have to get somewhere, and don’t want their bike nicked, or it starts pissing down with rain, they’ll give it up.
Even if the UK transport network was running at full capacity, social distancing rules would mean only one in 10 passengers could travel, he said.
Does this mean public transport, or include cars? Because there’s plenty of people travelling in cars on their own. Maybe not in London but out in the country they are.
Pop-up bike lanes, wider pavements, safer junctions, and cycle and bus-only corridors will be created in England within weeks as part of a £250m emergency fund.
So people are going to cycle from Reading to their job in the city are they? Or even 45 minutes from Hammersmith to the city? And how are you going to manage the storage of bikes for all these people? Bike parks with staff who break contact rules to hand you a ticket and store it?
Announcing £10m for electric car charging points and extended an e-scooter trial across England, Scotland and Wales, the transport secretary said better air quality had been one of the few benefits of the current crisis.
Right, and how many people are going to want to spend £50K on a Tesla at the end of this rather than keeping their Golf for a few more years? Even though right now, I’m in work and doing great, how long for? Because a pub owner falling on hard times doesn’t just affect him. Maybe he doesn’t get married this year, and that’s a wedding dress shop, florist and jeweller with less money. They then have less to spend on stuff, which can hit me. Confidence could collapse very quickly, and the government shouldn’t be using this as an opportunity for £250m pet projects.
The priority after this is getting back to confidence. That means savage cuts to government waste, clearing down the debt, and doing nothing to get in the way of growth.