Council announces further details of green travel plans
Gloucestershire County Council has announced further details of plans to make it easier to walk and cycle during the Covid-19 restrictions. The move comes following government announcements of measures and national investment of £250m to promote sustainable travel.
The council has issued a briefing note to county councillors requesting them to work with their district councils to put forward their top priority schemes. District councils are due to receive details today (20 May).
While some can be taken forward quickly, the county council is still awaiting details of the Department for Transport’s changes to the Traffic Regulation Order process, which will be necessary for some schemes and the level of likely funding allocated. Types of measures that could be taken forward include:
- Installing pop-up cycle facilities
- Using cones and barriers to widen footways, crossings, refuges and bus stops
- Reducing speed limits
- Additional cycle parking at key locations
- Whole route approaches to create key corridors for buses, cycles and access only
- Fast-tracking already planned schemes, i.e. local cycling and walking investment plans that can be constructed quickly.
Schemes will also need to meet the following criteria:
- Support strong social distancing
- Promote sustainable transport and travel
- Improve air quality
- Assist in economic recovery
- Are necessary and practical (i.e. awareness of TRO compliance).
The county council is keen to involve Gloucestershire’s district councils (working with their county councillors), as they have responsibility for street scene, and is seeking their top three ideas on what might be needed in different areas across the county including the best locations.
Cllr Nigel Moor, cabinet member for environment and planning, said, “We invested over £4.7m into cycling and walking last year – if we can do even more this year, that would be great. There are some strategic schemes such as cycle routes linking Gloucester and Cheltenham, and Cheltenham and Bishops Cleeve, that we’ve been pursuing for some time, but I’d also like to see if we can do more in our towns and cities too and more quickly to advance our proposed schemes. I really want to hear the views of district council colleagues. We’re also looking forward to the new guidance from the Department for Transport, which, once issued, will help us really take this forward.”
More details will follow on this as the project progresses.