The Covid-19 pandemic and the need to social distance, especially on public transport, has led to the Government encouraging and supporting travelling on foot or by bike, particularly for essential journeys including commuting, education and amenity journeys.
As a result the Government announced its new Emergency Active Travel Fund in May 2020 and invited local authorities to bid for the first stage of funding.
We were successful in gaining £123,000 of this funding in June 2020 to spend on promoting walking and cycling specifically as alternatives to public transport. Using this funding, our East Riding Safer Spaces programme includes a number of schemes which have already been completed:
- Improving pedestrian and cycling routes to the key services area of Castle Hill Hospital in Cottingham
- Improving existing footways and cycleways along main bus routes to restore them to their original widths
- Additional cycle parking
In July 2020, we were invited to bid for a second stage of funding from the Active Travel Fund and it was announced in November 2020 that we were successful in gaining a further £467,400 of funds.
The second stage of funding is focussed on our East Riding Safer Spaces programme and includes the following areas:
Partial pedestrianisation of part of Saturday Market, Beverley
This scheme is aimed at creating additional space for pedestrians and cyclists, providing space for outside seating to help businesses, encouraging more trips by foot or bike into the town centre and helping social distances.
The proposal is designed to be a temporary measure with the option to make it permanent following the trial period.
The idea was put forward for funding following positive feedback to initial consultation carried out in summer 2020 including businesses in Saturday Market, ward councillors, Beverley Town Council and the Civic Society.
Planters have been used to physically restrict traffic into the new pedestrian area and an experimental Traffic Regulation Order put in place for up to 18 months. This allowed the trial to be installed with the public being able to comment whilst the trial is in place.
The scheme also supports local high street businesses by providing opportunities to create seated outdoor space for adjacent retail outlets. This will provide a safe and attractive environment for people to enjoy, increasing dwell time of people using the town centre, and allowing more space for social distancing:
Two trial School Street projects were proposed to encourage walking and cycling to school:
School Streets project
Bridlington shared footway/cycleway
A new off-road footway/cycleway is proposed along Marton Road to provide a safer link between residential areas, schools and other amenities in order to encourage cycling and walking.
Improving existing footways and cycleways
Some of the funding has been allocated to improving off-road footways and cycleways alongside public transport routes by widening them out to their original widths to encourage use and provide extra social distancing space.
Additional secure cycle parking is proposed at various locations throughout the East Riding.
Details of the consultation on all schemes are available:
Active Travel Fund Consultation Plan (pdf 144kb)