Hayley Pells MSc CAE FIMI
The pandemic has impacted how we use our cars and consider our health, will some of these changes remain post pandemic?
Changes to the Highway Code following a consultation from the Depart for Transport (DfT) on the Hierarchy of Road Users’ concept was designed so that those likely to do most harm would have the greatest responsibility, but it has raised concerns that it could widen divisions between different groups of road users.
The consultation began on 28th July 2020 and closed on 27th October the same
The DfT have explained that this hierarchy would not give priority to any group but would ensure a “mutually respectful” and “considerate culture”. The hierarchy includes all users of the road, from horse riders to drivers of articulated lorries and seeks to be realistic about the diversity of modes of transportation available to road users, being mindful of how roads might be used in the future and how particular modes may become more popular.
The pandemic has witnessed a boom in uptake for walking, running, and cycling. As more people adopt flexible working practices and the move towards electric technology for private transport becomes not only more popular, but the deadline for purchasing a new internal combustion car looms closer, will become the only option. Urban areas are becoming more congested and the space allotted to cars is becoming more questionable, subterranean parking solutions are a fantastic feat of engineering, but may not be affordable for the average user.
Sellers of electric bicycles have enjoyed a buoyant business as the government removed the
previous limit of £1000 for the Cycle to Work scheme and it has been reported that users enjoyed greater benefits than regular bicycle users as the technology was more attractive to use all the time, not everyone relishes arriving at work to immediately shower and change.
The benefits of cycling, not just to the general health and wellbeing of the user, but to the
environment in which they operate, are numerous. Much quieter in functionality and requiring less electric to power (if using an electric bicycle) the benefits to reduce the emissions level and risk to health for everyone within that environment increases.
The feedback from the consultation is still under analysis and the increase of cycle lanes may be impactive for local elections this year as the spending from last year starts to be repaid meaning the politics of priority may determine the type of work presented to workshops in a nearer future than the demise of the internal combustion engine.
At Avia we have already upskilled all our mechanics to qualify them for the demands of EV and hybrid technology, a skill set that could easily turn to the repair and maintenance of electric bicycles.