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  • Writer's pictureCllr Liam Walker

Getting our transport system up and running again

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has been leading the Government's daily Coronavirus news conference from Downing Street to update the nation on the ongoing response to the pandemic.

A new record of over 126,000 COVID-19 tests were carried out in the last 24 hours.

Grant Shapps set out today's major transport announcements to speed up our economic recovery whilst still keeping people safe.

As the Government begin to make tentative steps towards restarting the economy, it is clear that transport has a critical role to play in this. Even when we have 100% of transport services (especially trains) back up and running, there may still only be 1 in 10 places available in order to observe social distancing measures. 

A £2bn programme to improve cycling and walking routes will be at the heart of the country's recovery plans moving forward.

Guidance has been issued to local authorities to prepare them for increased volumes of cyclists and pedestrians from here.

It is so important for us to ensure the transport system avoids becoming overwhelmed by returning commuters as we take these small steps out of lockdown.

The Transport Secretary also confirmed that a total of 419 separate network rail projects were completed over Easter. Highways England has been accelerating maintenance of our roads during lockdown too. This amounts to over £200m of improvements to our roads over the course of this lockdown.

This further £2bn funding announced by Grant Shapps today includes a £1.7bn fund for local roads to make them safer and more efficient.

A network of rapid charging facilities will also be rolled out across the country to help lock-in the massive air quality improvements we have seen over the course of this lockdown period.

We are still only in phase one of our recovery plan, but we will get through this and emerge stronger.

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