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.
Better not bigger - Why strategic roads need a green retrofit programme
A new report by environment and transport groups including the Campaign to Protect Rural England and the Campaign for Better Transport and The Wildlife Trusts is calling for £3 billion to be invested over the next five years in a range of 'green retrofit' improvements for existing roads in the upcoming Road Investment Strategy, which will be published by the Government in Autumn 2014.
England has one of the lowest rates of bus use and cycling in the EU, while 3 million people are exposed to noise levels from roads above international standards and biodiversity continues to decline. The 'Bigger not better' report outlines many ways our existing road network needs to be updated to help tackle these problems, including:
• green bridges to reconnect habitats and landscapes that have been severed by major roads
• design changes to reduce the visual and landscape impact of roads, including lighting
• new barriers and better management to reduce traffic noise
• safe crossings and routes to increase walking and cycling
• new smart technology to help reduce disruption, through better speed control and information
• priority measures for buses and coaches, particularly near key junctions and urban areas
You can read the report below and pdf is attached at the bottom of this page: