Council's plan for cycling out of lockdown
Junction changes for cyclists and car free zones are among the proposals being considered by highways bosses in Suffolk to help get the commuters and town centre visitors on their bikes post lockdown.
Suffolk County Council outlined its Safer Spaces scheme on Friday where necessary road and pavement changes to help people socially distance as the coronavirus lockdown eases have been categorised into three levels of work.
The authority’s Liberal Democrat, Green and Independent (LDGI) group had called for more measures to help pedestrians and cyclists and in response Conservative cabinet member for highways Andrew Reid said there were a series of measures being considered, including pop-up and widened cycle lanes, using cones and barriers to widen paths alongside roads and extra space at bus stops, introducing pedestrian and cycle zones where motor traffic would be restricted to certain times of day or entirely in specific streets, particularly in town centres, additional cycle parking in town centres, rail stations and public places, changes to junction designs to accommodate cyclists better, creating bus, cycle or pedestrian corridors in town centre and bringing forward permanent schemes already planned for the future.
The government announced a £2billion package nationally to boost walking and cycling routes in the country, with Suffolk confirmed for £1.6million specifically for cycling.
In his response to the LDGI group, Cllr Reid said any final plans would be dependent on the level of that funding “People’s travel behaviour in Suffolk has transformed during lockdown as more people turn to walking and cycling to get around. Therefore, I agree we must make our roads and footpaths, especially in the built-up areas safe for us all to use.
“However, to finalise this work we need to know how much funding will be allocated to Suffolk and how we can access it. We expect an announcement on this imminently. We will be happy to publicise schemes as soon as they are agreed.”
More by this authorJason Noble, Local Democracy Reporter