Park Active initiative aims to get more people parking, walking and cycling

The BPA has embarked on a new initiative which will promote and raise awareness of active travel across the UK, encouraging more people to think about walking or cycling the last part of their journey.

Park Active will encourage the use of peripheral parking sites which are easy to access and offer cheaper long-stay parking and onward active travel options, mainly cycling or walking. It will discourage longer stay parking close to town and city centre destinations thereby reducing the amount of traffic and helping free up central parking for short stay shoppers and blue badge holders and to allow more space for social distancing. The initiative also has the potential to help reduce congestion and improve air quality in town and city centres.

The BPA has been engaged to lead and undertake this project with input and support from government and stakeholders and wants to mobilise the parking community behind Park Active as a part of the Positive Parking Agenda. Initially, live pilots will be run in up to 10 cities and towns across the UK to demonstrate the feasibility of the initiative. The project scope also includes development of a campaign toolkit to promote and raise awareness of Park Active both locally and nationally. The pilot programme will result in a national framework and guidance to enable the implementation of Park Active sites anywhere.

This comes after the Government in Westminster recently announced a £250 million emergency active travel fund, the first stage of a £2 billion investment, as part of the £5 billion in new funding announced for cycling and buses in February. The money is available for projects which support and promote greener travel habits by building healthier communities with better air quality.

The Government will fund and work with local authorities across the country to help make it easier for people to use bikes to get around. Fast-tracked statutory guidance, published in May, told councils to reallocate road space for significantly increased numbers of cyclists and pedestrians. In towns and cities, some streets could become bike and bus-only while others remain available for motorists. More side streets could be closed to through traffic, to create low-traffic neighbourhoods and reduce rat-running while maintaining access for vehicles.