Media briefing: Coronavirus and transport – challenges and opportunities
By George Smeeton, Head of Communications
Published:01 June 2020
As the UK emerges from the coronavirus lockdown policymakers are considering economic stimulus measures, with Boris Johnson recently highlighting the need to ‘build back better’ with a ‘fairer, greener and more resilient’ economy. But what does this mean in the context of transport? The imperative will be to boost jobs and economic growth. Yet doing this with ‘business-as-usual’ policies would mean increasing air pollution – which is increasingly linked to respiratory diseases, including Covid-19.
Building on changes that people have already made to how they get around during the crisis, cities such as Milan are changing the way people move – boosting cycling and walking – with some UK cities following suit. Meanwhile the UK government is preparing to bring forward the phase-out of the internal combustion engine as a key policy to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. What scope does the crisis present for building a different transport system that reduces the burden on health as well as congestion and emissions – and that would be popular?
This briefing will consider:
- What transport system do we want for the future, and whether the crisis presents an opportunity to rebuild towards it;
- How stimulus measures could be used to promote this future;
- What such measures would produce in terms of jobs, near-term economic growth and health improvements.
- Andy Street, Conservative Mayor of the West Midlands;
- Edmund King, President of the AA;
- Scarlett McNally, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and cycling champion;
- Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive of Sport England;
- Richard Black, Director, ECIU (chair).
The briefing is from 10:15 – 11:45am, Wednesday 3 June. If you would like to attend, please email email@example.com.