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Government plans to reallocate road space is based on a “fantasy” and should be reconsidered, according to the RHA.

The association is accusing the government of failing to consider the practical reality and economic consequences of hiving off road space for cyclists and pedestrians, and of using the Covid-19 pandemic to drive through the reallocation policy without adequate consultation.

It warns that it will lead to increased congestion and delays to deliveries, adversely affecting both local and national businesses.

Duncan Buchanan, RHA director of policy for England and Wales, said: “The Covid emergency is being exploited to push through fantasy projects.

“People are forgetting that we need to move around – that our food comes on trucks, for example.

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“There are innumerable necessary road journeys made every day, but we’re in danger of following a dogma that’s destroying the road network, destroying business and competitiveness, and so ruining people’s lives.”

“Roads are functional places where we connect with each other, and they need to be managed for all users’ benefit – not just cyclists.

“The government needs to remember: this isn’t being driven by ordinary people, it’s totally alien to them.

“It’s artificially constructed congestion created by people who don’t care about ordinary citizens’ lives.”

The RHA is also accusing local councils rolling out these schemes of being ignorant of the impact of the industry’s investment in Euro-6 fleets which have has seen a 59% reduction in NOx emissions over six years.