Improving existing roads must be prioritised over new roads says Campaign for National Parks

Campaign for National Parks has worked with 16 partners, led by the Campaign for Better Transport, to urge the Government to make improving existing roads a priority over building new ones.

The Rising to the challenge: a shared green vision for RIS2 report offers a more sustainable approach to the forthcoming second Road Investment Strategy (RIS2).

The report is backed by Campaign for Better Transport, the British Horse Society, ClientEarth, CPRE, Cycling UK, the Heritage Alliance, Living Streets, Noise Abatement  Society, Plantlife, Ramblers, Sustrans, the UK Noise Association, the Wildlife Trusts, Woodland Trust and WWF-UK alongside Campaign for National Parks.

Three key principles for the Government to consider are set out by the report:

  1. Fix it first – focus on making improvements to the existing network rather than building new roads
  2. An integrated strategy – meaning better links with local and non-motorised transport options.
  3. Environmental leadership – demonstrate a firm commitment to environmental issues including protecting the landscape and biodiversity.

Campaign for National Parks wants much more to be done to reduce the impacts of the existing road network on the inspiring landscapes of the National Parks, and more support for sustainable transport options.  Too often roads are scars across our beautiful National Parks, causing light and noise pollution and bringing litter and congestion to the countryside.

Ruth Bradshaw, Policy and Research Manager at Campaign for National Parks comments:

“What’s really great about this report is the way different organisations have come together with a clear voice. We believe a more harmonious relationship between roads and the landscape should be a priority for this new strategy. The Government and Highways England need to demonstrate that they are fulfilling their duty to protect and enhance our beautiful and amazing protected landscapes.”

Rising to the challenge: a shared green vision for RIS2 calls on the Government to demonstrate a serious commitment to the beauty and value of our landscapes by including stronger protection for landscape and heritage in the second Road Investment Strategy.

“Some of the National Park Authorities and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty have made real progress in publishing guidance on best practice for road schemes in protected landscapes. It is time for Highways England to catch up.” Bradshaw continued.

Click here to visit the Campaign for Better Transport website and find out more.

Ensuring everyone can get around our National Parks in an environmentally friendly way is one of Campaign for National Parks’ current priorities. Find out more about our work on accessibility to National Parks.