As the nation gets ready for a return to a ‘new normal’ due to Covid-19, the Government has advised members of the public to walk and cycle wherever possible, rather than relying on cars and public transport.
Since the Government announcement easing the nation’s lockdown restrictions, working closely with the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, we have spent time preparing for both permanent and temporary measures – some of which could be put in place within the next two weeks.
These measures aim to make walking and cycling a default option, by making it as easy as possible to make short trips. We have been working with organisations such as Camcycle and Sustrans.
As well as lessening the chances of spreading and catching Covid-19, walking and cycling also improves health and is better for the environment – two key factors which will help improve your chances of surviving the virus, should you get it.
In Cambridgeshire, there will be three waves of improvements planned as follows, including:
- Shelford Road to the Waitrose junction - removal of bus lane and widening of cycle lanes
- Chesterton Road – removal of centre line and addition of a cycle lane
- Milton High Street – removal of centre line and addition of a cycle lane
- Girton Road – removal of centre line and addition of a cycle lane
- Kings Hedges Road – removal of a centre line and addition of a cycle lane
By early June
- Trumpington Road – on carriageway cycle lane and removal of bus lane and parking
- Trumpington Street to Kings Parade – potential on carriageway cycle lane
By mid June
The council is working with the Greater Cambridge Partnership to see if it can move ahead with the temporary closure of Luard Road and Grange Road in Cambridge.
Other areas being considered, subject to Department for Transport funding, include:
- Pedestrian crossings – Trialling the replacement of the existing ‘push’ buttons with touch-free options and reducing waiting times for pedestrians at busy crossings in the city centre.
- School street closures - Introducing temporary closures or vehicle restrictions (with the exception of residents or delivery drivers) on roads outside schools in the city.
- Vegetation clearing - Working with Aragon Direct Services to ensure that cycle paths and footpaths are clear overhanging vegetation and more inviting for people to use them.
- Additional cycle parking across Peterborough
- Cycle repairs, training and maintenance facilities
- Cycle lane refreshes
- Temporary social distancing information placed on footpaths and cycle lanes to encourage social distancing
- Monitoring walking and cycling levels across the city on a regular basis
- Increasing Bikeability at schools in the city (school cycle proficiency training)
- Working with businesses to encourage sustainable travel
- Further longer-term development of the city’s Walking and Cycling Infrastructure Plan
- Investigating any other temporary cycling/pedestrian improvement suggestions from residents, businesses and organisations throughout the city.
Councillor Ian Bates, Chair of Highways and Transport at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “Our transport team has been carefully considering this for some time, as we know from looking at other countries that walking and cycling is key in getting our county moving again during Covid-19.
“We’ve been working closely with partners including Camcycle to identify temporary changes we can make quickly to our existing network which will help residents to rely less on cars and public transport and instead, walk and cycle over the coming months.”