Covid-19 emergency response active travel measures
As we move out of lockdown the government has recognised the importance of introducing emergency measures to facilitate social distancing in public spaces and provide viable alternatives to public transport and avoid excessive use of cars. During the lockdown there has also been a noticeable increase in people choosing to walk or cycle rather than using their cars and the government is keen to maintain this momentum across the country in the longer term.
Funding has been identified for local authorities to provide temporary measures that support people to continue to walk and cycle in our towns and cities and maintain social distancing. The first part of this funding will cover the immediate emergency measures. Later parts will support further measures to support the continuing release of lockdown and shift to active travel.
What sort of temporary measures are envisaged?
Herefordshire Council have been working to develop measures for this initial element of funding. These are intended to be temporary using bollards, barriers and signage to reallocate road space to pedestrians and cyclists and to allow them to socially distance themselves when travelling and queuing for shops. To achieve this it is anticipated measures will include:
- closing roads to through traffic at specific times
- removing traffic lanes on wider roads
- restricting roads to one way
- adjustments to parking arrangements
- introduction of 20 mile per hour zones
When will these measures be introduced?
The importance of introducing these measures as swiftly as possible to support the opening of city and town centres is recognised in the government guidance. On that basis the expectation is that local authorities introduce these within a matter of weeks. We anticipate measures will start to be introduced from the beginning of July.
How will this be achieved?
The government has introduced emergency Traffic Regulation Order powers to allow local authorities to implement such measures more quickly than before. A formal notice of intent to make the order will be published for seven days and the order must then be made within the following 14 days.
What about deliveries and access to premises on roads when they are closed?
It is important that deliveries and access are maintained. It is anticipated this will be achieved either by specific exemptions or by setting specific times when access will be possible. Where closures are on bus routes we will also be making provision for these services to be maintained.
Why are we writing to you?
Herefordshire Council recognises the significant impact Covid-19 has had on many businesses, and whilst the measures are intended to support the opening up of town and city centres they may impact the operation of some businesses. We have already had preliminary discussions with local ward and town council members as well as business interest groups in developing the measures, and we feel it is important to also gather feedback direct from businesses. Given the timescale for implementation we will need your feedback by Tuesday 23 June.
How to feedback
Please feedback your response by Tuesday 23 June to: Herefordshire.email@example.com
Will you monitor these measures?
All the measures introduced will be monitored to see not only how effective they are but also the impact they are having on the areas where they are introduced. We can adjust them should the performance or feedback indicate that amendments are required.
On this basis we would ask that you continue to feedback beyond 23rd June to update us on the measures that are introduced, possible additional measures or changes to existing ones.