The diversification of UK urban areas is an important goal for councils, governments and town planners. They want to help make urban areas more inclusive for everyone, from cyclists to people who take public transport.
The issue right now is that cars dominate the road. There are currently 32,697,408 licensed cars in the UK, and it’s most people’s choice of transport, even for short trips. According to Campaign for Better Transport, most people (50-54%) use their cars for trips like shopping and running errands.
Why diversifying travel methods is important
In recent years, people have been encouraged to use alternative transport methods to cars, such as public transport, bicycles and walking. One alternative that has proven popular is e-bikes.
Why the need for change, though? There are several reasons for its necessity. When too many cars are on the road, it causes these three significant problems:
High pollution levels
Cars emit pollutive fumes. With too many vehicles on the road, those fumes create poor air quality and pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Not only do these gases harm public health, but they also contribute to climate change.
With too many cars on the road, traffic congestion occurs. People have to wait for a long time in traffic jams without a way around it – many hours sometimes.
Reduced public health
Poor air quality from vehicle fumes leads to poorer health, such as lung disease and asthma. On top of that, traffic congestion can cause stress for people living in the city due to the noise levels.
It’s simple; fewer cars equal less congestion and improved air quality – a study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University proves that. It showed that if micro-mobility options replaced just 10% of cars during peak afternoon travel, air quality would improve, and traffic congestion would decrease.
How urban design can help diversify roads
Road changes are required for more diversified urban areas, particularly concerning safety and road design.
Safety is crucial for encouraging more people to take alternative routes like cycling. According to the National Travel Attitudes, 66% of adults find cycling a dangerous transport method (71% of whom are women). Also, in that same survey, 44% admitted they could easily use a bicycle for a two-mile journey. That’s where urban design comes into play.
Read more: Why car park line markings are important
By changing how the roads operate, other methods of transport (like bicycles) can be safely accommodated in larger numbers.
The role of line markings
Something as simple as using line marking paint can make all the difference regarding inclusivity on roads. Take Amsterdam as a perfect example. The bike-friendly city has 10,000 bicycle parking spots and 320 miles of cycle lanes – all of which are marked with white lines. Those lines make a bike-friendly city possible.
White lines are also helpful for guiding public transport. With more public transport routes marked with white lines, there can be a steadier flow of transportation, making buses more appealing.
On top of that, road markings can be used to give extra space for cyclists, motorcycles and e-bikes while encouraging better road behaviour from car drivers.
Overall, road markings can assist the transition from car-dominated roads to more diversified urban spaces. This transition, in turn, creates urban areas that are far more inclusive, healthier and sustainable, which is a good thing for everybody.