Staff and students welcome changes to Highway Code that promote active travel
Staff and students at LJMU have welcomed changes to the Highway Code that restructure the road hierarchy and prioritise walking and cycling.
For the university, active and sustainable travel options are at the forefront of ways that it can advocate better health and wellbeing for all, while also responding to the climate emergency.
An Active Travel Steering Group has been set up to help implement the university’s Active and Sustainable Travel Plan which was approved last autumn.
The group is led by Pro-Vice Chancellor, Professor Joe Yates and Dr Jason Kirby, School Director for Biological and Environmental Science. They commented: “This plan aims to both encourage and enable active travel for our staff and students, as well as contributing to reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality. As a key stakeholder in the city, we are also keen to work with our Liverpool City Region partners to ensure LJMU has a voice in the planning of future active travel infrastructure in and around our campus.
Giving our community confidence to make healthier choices
“As a university, it is our aim to make people feel safe and secure and to remove barriers to staff and students wishing to participate in active travel. The changes to the Highway Code will definitely contribute to this and will hopefully give our community the confidence to make healthier choices.”
LJMU wants to reach the point where walking and cycling are the most natural choices for the majority of journeys across campus, to and from studying or work.
Students from one of the university’s newest sports societies, LJMU Cycling Club which formed in September 2021, also welcomed the Highway Code amends that came into force at the weekend.
Making cyclists more visible
Alexander Smith, LJMU Cycling Club Captain said: “For a lot of people who are new into the sport, riding on the roads for the first time can be quite a scary thing. With a lot of close passes and the infrastructure not designed to be perfect for cycling, it can be quite scary.
“The new Highway Code changes will be helpful in some respects; I think the fact that cars need to give at least five foot to overtake is a good thing. Another rule that will probably help in the grand scheme of things is being able to ride two abreast. That means we are more visible, and drivers can see us better, and they’ll do a safer pass by going into the other lane and it should in theory be easier for them to overtake.”
Students urged to get riding and enjoy cycling café culture
Alexander added: “A bit of cycling that I really love is just riding to a café and having coffee and cakes. It’s a really nice culture within cycling and if you’re thinking about getting involved in cycling you can join the LJMU Cycling Club and join us for café rides.”