20 ways Boris’ Gear Change has blown us away

Here are 20 ways the government Gear Change for cycling and walking has blown us away – very appropriate for Cycle Hayling’s 2020 vision!

Not so much a Gear Changer – more of a Game Changer. It’s far and away the most radical leap forward for cycling in my lifetime.

And it has the full political backing of Boris Johnson, who has form – he transformed cycling in London when he was London’s Mayor, and has now realised that his near-death experience with Covid-19 was caused by his weight and lack of exercise.

Here are just some of the highlights (and there are a lot) :

  1. Gear Change: recommended reading here!
  2. A new Highway Code to make cycling and walking dramatically safer, including a hierarchy of responsibility topped by HGV’s then cars, cycle priority at junctions, and safe passing distances.
  3. Radical new Design Standards (LTN 1/20), which will be expected to be used by Local Authorities and developers, regardless of public funding or not, and no public money on schemes which don’t comply.
  4. Shared paths to be banned, except where there is absolutely no other solution.
  5. Active Travel England as enforcement ‘with teeth’, headed by a new Cycling and Walking Commissioner.
  6. Health, environment and community benefits to be given full weight when judging transport & planning schemes.
  7. Long-term cycling & walking programme with a significant budget, like the roads programme with its budget.
  8. All new local and strategic ‘A road’ schemes will provide for cycling.
  9. All new housing and business developments to prioritise sustainable travel.
  10. Local authorities to get more traffic control powers, including fines.
  11. More low-traffic neighbourhoods to discourage rat-running.
  12. More School Streets to protect school-children and make cycling to school more attractive.
  13. Hard, smooth, level all-weather surfaces as standard.
  14. Action on bike theft, more bike parking.
  15. Bike training for every child and adult that wants it.
  16. E-Bike support programme, including loans and subsidies.
  17. Higher safety standards for lorries.
  18. Improve and extend the National Cycle Network.
  19. Mini-Hollands to be funded for 12 local authorities.
  20. Create at least one zero-emission city.

Backed up by some key design principles which are really radical :


The best write-up I’ve seen on it so far has been from the legendary cycle campaigner Carlton Reid, in Forbes magazine.

When will the Hayling see any of the benefits? Well it’s initially aimed at the big population centres in towns and cities, so even under the accelerated timescales being proposed, it might take months or years to put in new cycle paths here, and that won’t be easy because of the constraints on land.

But we’ll see lots of the indirect benefits pretty soon, such as training for kids and adults, the new Highway Code, etc.

And of course, the £50 ‘Fix your bike’ vouchers as soon as their website stops crashing. Fortunately, we got in early with our very successful Revive-A-Bike scheme, which showed them the way!

Game Changer is the only way to describe it.

2 Replies to “20 ways Boris’ Gear Change has blown us away”

  1. Sounds brilliant. I shall ask the council what they’re going to do too.

    1. Now we’re getting some time to study the new standards, we’re beginning to realise that they’re heavily oriented towards the densely populated cities and big towns, like London, Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham, and that’s where the big money will go for the time being.

      So the big risk for smaller urban and semi-rural areas like Havant and Hayling, is that the “Nothing but Perfection” philosophy could actually translate to “Nothing”.

      Watch this space.

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