Town planners and engineers working on new housing developments have been criticised for not considering pedestrians and cyclists. A new report produced by University College London (UCL) has taken aim at planners and engineers for allowing new designs to be dominated by roads, not taking into consideration the needs of walkers and cyclists.
Talking to the BBC, author of the report Professor Matthew Carmona criticised the outdated approach of housing developments and how it is focused solely on the needs of drivers.
‘Far too many new developments are still all about the car,’ said Carmona. ‘It’s all about making sure cars don’t need to slow down. Pedestrians and cyclists just have to get out of the way.
‘It’s an approach from the 1960s. We should be allowing people to walk and cycle to get to local facilities instead of having to get out the car every time. But car-dominated developments are still going up.’
In the same report, Carmona found that most councils have not updated their design standards since the 1970s and that three-quarters of 142 developments surveyed should not have been handed planning permission.
It has been speculated that this latest report, alongside a government survey, may have an impact on the Depart for Transport’s plans to spend a further £28.8 billion on roads.
This recent government survey reported that, of the 2,500 surveyed, 76% of people agreed that a reduction in driving is necessary for the sake of the environment, a 10% increase from two years previous.
It also found that 75% of people agreed there should be fewer cars in urban areas for the sake of public areas.