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National Infrastructure Commission says it's time to go green...

The UK’s National Infrastructure Commission has urged the government to invest in cycling to ease the misery of gridlocked roads.

Lord Adonis, who heads the commission, said that the country needs "alternatives to the private car, upgrading and expanding rail and metro systems, better facilities for cycling and walking and improved bus networks."

It’s all part of the National Infrastructure Assessment, which aims to prioritise "alternatives to the private car, upgrading and expanding rail and metro systems, better facilities for cycling and walking and improved bus networks.”

Speeds on inner London roads have fallen 9% between 2012 and 2015 and overcrowding on the capital´s commuter trains increased 45% between 2011 and 2016, he said.

He added: “We cannot afford to sit on our hands – ministers must act now to tackle the three Cs of congestion, capacity and carbon if we are to have infrastructure fit for the future, supporting economic growth across the country.”

The document warned that "new public transport, cycling and walking infrastructure is vital to tackling urban congestion and promoting healthy growth.”

Cycling UK policy director Roger Geffen told BikeBiz: ”The National Infrastructure Commission rightly calls for more investment in high-quality cycle networks. Investing in more monster motorways would only worsen the congestion and pollution which is throttling our towns and cities. Instead we need a massive shift of transport funding priorities towards simple local solutions.

He added: "Good cycle schemes are an incredibly cost-effective way to deliver clean air, safe streets, people-friendly town-centres and the freedom for young and old alike to get around easily without relying on cars. It's a magic cure for so many ills, and Ministers really need to prescribe it for everyone's benefit."

Air quality across the UK was highlighted as a particular concern, with calls for more investment in public transport and cycling services marked as vital for easing traffic congestion and cutting pollution levels.

A Treasury spokesman said: ”We are investing record amounts in our transport networks to boost capacity, clamp down on congestion and speed up journey times.

"Cutting our carbon footprint is also a key priority, which is why we committed £1bn to bolster the take-up of ultra-low emission vehicles."

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

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