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Cabinet councillor welcomes ''pedal power overtaking horse power''

With World Environment Day (June 5) putting the spotlight on how the food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink and our climate are all dependent on the natural world, a Cabinet councillor at Lewes District Council has called on residents to embrace a future focused on walking and cycling.

Millions of people all over the world have connected with nature and the outdoors by leaving the car at home and walking or cycling during the coronavirus pandemic.

Journeys on foot and by bike have allowed close up views into how our wildlife is thriving in a cleaner and quieter environment.

Councillor Matthew Bird, Cabinet Member for Sustainability, said: "We are living through some of the most difficult and challenging times in peacetime, yet unexpectedly a great reawakening has happened for so many people, as they discover, or rediscover, nature living on their doorsteps.

"Increased walking and cycling and far fewer vehicle journeys are massively reducing CO2 emissions and it's a tantalising prospect to think that this change in behaviour can be maintained.

"We are currently working closely with East Sussex County Council to develop plans for new infrastructure that will encourage more walking and cycling, such as greater pedestrianisation and a more extensive network of cycle lanes in the district."

The Co-operative Alliance, that controls Lewes District Council, declared a climate emergency in July 2019 and moved quickly to accelerate plans to radically cut greenhouse gas emissions and make the district climate resilient by 2030.

Councillor Bird added: "Since 1974, World Environment Day has been engaging governments, businesses, celebrities and citizens to focus their efforts on championing environmental issues.

"I think this year it will resonate like never before and I hope will lead to transformative change, with pedal power overtaking horse power for many individuals and families." #FORNATURE