Rural drivers should not be 'demonised and penalised' for using cars as they have no choice, FSB says –

Meanwhile, Greg Smith, the Conservative MP for Buckingham, said that for many of the villages in his constituency the nearest supermarkets are a 15 minute drive.

“Surely the anwer has to be not to paint people who are still using their car out of pratcical necessity as still doing wrong,” he added.

During the pandemic, the Government has also committed £2 billion to encourage people out of their cars and onto more active forms of travel such as bikes and walking.

However, some schemes such as pop-up cycle lanes and pavements have already been scrapped by local councils after opposition from residents and complaints over a lack of consultation.

Mary Creagh, the former Labour MP and now CEO of walking charity Living Streets, told the committee she felt some of the pavement and cycle lane schemes had been dropped by councils as they had become a “lightning rod in the culture wars”.

She also warned that road accidents could rise in cities as lockdown eased and people looked to make up for lost time. 

Ms Creagh added: “We are seeing some evidence in London that the risk to pedestrians is rising as people get back in their cars and feel they have to make up for the time and economic activity lost during lockdown.”


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