Travel and transport form an integral part of our lives in the 21st Century - from our daily journeys to work, school and shops to the way goods and services are moved around to meet the supply and demand of the modern world.
The Wildlife Trusts believe that good planning for sustainable transport needs to be considered alongside other land uses to find the best solutions for people and nature. Our view is that there is a need to:
• reduce the need to travel, through well-designed towns, cities and neighbourhoods
• improve both public transport and active travel routes such as walking and cycling, which are safe, attractive and well-connected to essential services
• promote less carbon intensive forms of transport and other measures which reduce dependency on private vehicle use
Investment in environmentally sensitive maintenance and improvement of the current road network should be prioritised
The Wildlife Trusts believe that road development should be considered along with development of other transport links such as bus, rail and cycleways and that investment in environmentally sensitive maintenance and improvement of the current road network should be prioritised over the development of new road schemes.
Road development can be a major threat to the UK’s habitats and species, destroying or fragmenting wildlife sites and creating physical barriers that can stop species moving freely through the countryside. New roads can also open up previously unspoilt areas of land to development, contributing further to the gradual but irreversible erosion of the natural environment. As well as these direct impacts, new roads can also lead to increased carbon emissions, noise, light, water and litter pollution, all of which have an impact on wildlife. As such we work to:
• influence and encourage measures on existing roads which secure improvements for the natural environment and reduce the impact on wildlife;
• oppose developments that threaten, damage or fragment important wildlife sites or Living Landscapes;
• seek to minimise the damage of new road schemes by encouraging and influencing good design which secures opportunities for enhancing, restoring and managing a network of joined up wildlife habitats, in keeping with the natural character of the area.
Road Building Rally – Bexhill Hastings
In response to Government plans for a massive programme of new roads in England and Wales, costing more than £30 billion, The Wildlife Trusts supported a rally against road building on Saturday 13 July 2013. Organised by the Roads to Nowhere Campaign at Campaign for Better Transport, the rally walked the route of the destructive and fiercely opposed Bexhill-Hastings Link Road. The road is being built at a cost of £100 million and will cut through the beautiful landscape of the Combe Haven Valley, within metres of the Combe Haven Site of Special Scientific Interest and several Local Sites of substantive nature conservation value.