The research is overwhelming: active transport, low-traffic neighbourhoods and green space improve wellbeing, says Jude Wilkinson
Peter Walker’s terrific piece (How a myth about London bike lanes and congestion took off, 13 December) reminds us that the anti-cycling lobby, replete with right-leaning columnists, aggrieved drivers and fossil-fuel interests, is perhaps the most bizarre coalition in modern politics. And it’s certainly the most misguided. The most frustrating aspect of this motley crew is that they vigorously defend interests they imagine they have. The reality is that our historical emphasis on cars has encouraged sedentary and isolated lifestyles. Older people defend a status quo that leads to their own isolation and immiseration.
The research is overwhelming: active transport, low-traffic neighbourhoods and green space improve wellbeing. The anti-cycling lobby opposes measures that are not just necessary to meet climate goals, but which can also make the lives of all generations happier and healthier. Those who lament “eco-obsessed” councils are lamenting the possibility that we could encourage sustainability while making people’s lives quantifiably better.