Not long ago the lockdown of the last eight weeks was unimaginable, a storyline from a novel. Now we are faced with decisions that could take us back to a reliance on fossil fuels that has been destroying the planet and the creatures that live on it.

Or we can build back better through opening an economy that protects the cleaner air, quieter roads and safer environment for animals and people resulting from the dramatic decrease in land and air travel. As we move out of this crisis, caused by the lack of preparation for a pandemic, we urgently need to protect the gains that have been made (even though accidental) toward reducing our carbon footprint and to address the climate crisis.

One great improvement in the past 8 weeks has been the ability to cycle around Stroud District in relative peace and safety as vehicle traffic was reduced due to the lockdown. I propose that building back better include moving money from road construction to the provision of dedicated cycle paths and the provision of proper, safe cycle lanes on many roads. This is hardly radical: many progressive towns and cities already have provided these facilities and make it a priority to continue their development.

I urge our political leaders to make sure cyclists are not pushed off the roads. We do not have to go back to the old normal, where cars and fossil fuel driven transport rule.

Lynn Haanen