Reallocating road space and new road signs
Whatever the 'new normal' turns out to be, plans are being made for more active travel for all of us.
Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport, has issued guidance about reallocating road space in response to Covid-19.
Mr Shapps said: “The coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has had a terrible impact on the lives and health of many UK citizens, as well as severe economic consequences. But it has also resulted in cleaner air and quieter streets, transforming the environment in many of our towns and cities.
“And millions of people have discovered, or rediscovered, cycling and walking. In some places, there’s been a 70% rise in the number of people on bikes - for exercise, or for safe, socially distanced travel.
“When the country gets back to work, we need them to carry on cycling, and to be joined by millions more.
“We also know that in the new world, pedestrians will need more space. Indications are that there is a significant link between COVID-19 recovery and fitness. Active travel can help us become more resilient.”
Whilst much of the advice concerns measures for city centres, the guidance says even local authorities where public transport use is low (such as this north-west corner of Norfolk) should be considering all measures to reallocate road space to people walking and cycling, both to encourage active travel and to enable social distancing during restart.
Some of the measures are:
- Widening existing cycle lanes to enable cyclists to maintain distancing. Facilities should be segregated as far as possible, i.e. with physical measures separating cyclists and other traffic. Lanes indicated by road markings only are very unlikely to be sufficient to deliver the level of change needed, especially in the longer term.
- Using cones and barriers: to widen footways along lengths of road, particularly outside shops and transport hubs; to provide more space at bus stops to allow people to queue and socially distance; to widen pedestrian refuges and crossings (both formal and informal) to enable people to cross roads safely and at a distance.
- Encouraging walking and cycling to school
- Reducing speed limits: 20mph speed limits are being more widely adopted as an appropriate speed limit for residential roads, and many through streets in built-up areas. 20mph limits alone will not be sufficient to meet the needs of active travel, but in association with other measures, reducing the speed limit can provide a more attractive and safer environment for walking and cycling.
- Introducing pedestrian and cycle zones: restricting access for motor vehicles at certain times (or at all times) to specific streets, or networks of streets, particularly town centres and high streets. This will enable active travel but also social distancing in places where people are likely to gather.
Traffic signs may be needed to inform pedestrians, cyclists and drivers of changes to road layouts, particularly where temporary widening is in place.
For all the detailed information please go to: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reallocating-road-space-in-response-to-covid-19-statutory-guidance-for-local-authorities/traffic-management-act-2004-network-management-in-response-to-covid-19