September 18, 2023

Experts seek passage and implementation of NMT policy

Experts seek passage and implementation of NMT policy

…as sustainable transport festival holds

By Gabriel Olawale

Experts in the Cycling Industry has called for the passage and implementation of the Non Motorise Transportation, NMT policy, especially in Lagos.

Speaking at a media briefing ahead of Sustainable Transport Festival 2023 scheduled to hold on September 20 to 23, in Lagos, Project Manager, Lagos Urban Development Initiative, LUDI, Mr. Yinka Jones, said that there is a need to pursue sustainable transportation that is inclusive, safe, efficient, diverse, among others to achieve sustainable development.

He said that a sustainable transport system should limit emissions and pollution, support a vibrant economy, improve the quality of life or livelihoods of the people and spread societal benefits to all, adding that transportation cannot be cut out from the fabric of urban development as it gives us access to goods and services, opportunities for individual mobility and a better quality of life.

Jones said: “It is essential to the economic and social development of our communities. The population in Lagos is growing at a fast rate with an increased demand for transport services.

“To address the demand the population growth has on available transportation infrastructure, so far we have responded by creating more roads for cars. However, this development not only contributes to issues like climate change, air pollution, traffic congestion and road injuries but also often impacts the urban poor and most vulnerable.

“Considering that the majority of commuters rely on walking, cycling and public transport to access employment and services, prioritising cars in mobility planning will only increase inequality in Lagos and cities alike,” he said.

The experts: Captain, Cycology Cycling Club, Mrs. Temitope George; Agbo Francis of FT Cycle Care; Olasumbo Olaniyi of Urban Better and Chris Nze of Simba Planet, said that there is a need for inclusive transport infrastructure and available market for NMT.

On her part, Project Associate, LUDI, Miriam Adenuga, explained that a group of CSOs have come together to organise initiatives like the Sustainable Transport Festival 2023 to raise awareness of the need for more sustainable modes of transportation like walking, cycling, and sustainable public transportation.

As well, the Let’s Get Lagos Moving Campaign group started its advocacy for Non-Motorised Transportation modes in the state by celebrating World Bicycle Day in 2021, in which the attendance led to the first Car Free Day in Lagos in 2022 together with the Ministry of Transportation and LAMATA.

Adenuga highlighted that the 4-day festival would open up with a series of online discussions on 20; followed by a walkability assessment on the 21st to assess the walkability, accessibility and air quality of streets in Ikeja; an Open Mic and documentary screening would be hosted on the 22nd; and on the 23rd, the festival would come to an end with a bike ride.