Social distancing and pop up space for walking and cycling

TACC has been asking the leader of Somerset County Council (SCC) to introduce space for walking and cycling to enable social distancing. We particularly suggested that they consider these routes:
Illegal parking on pavement on Cheddon Road

The types of segregation and other provision that other Councils are using are: using cones, some planters as temporary bollards, suspending push buttons at pedestrian crossings, closing ‘rat runs’ using experimental traffic orders.

Response from SCC

Initially it seemed that SCC didn’t fully recognise the opportunity and need. However, on 14 May we received this email from SCC:
“Thanks for your recent email and it gives me an opportunity to update you on our current approach to the issues of safe cycling and walking.
We are taking a flexible and dynamic approach and are actively developing plans that will:

We are still waiting to hear the details of what our share of the £250million emergency funding announced by the DfT will be and when it will be received. We know that initial tranche won’t do everything we want, so we will have to prioritise the immediate needs.

You will appreciate that such opportunities are not without their challenges. Clearly, issues of both capacity and budget will be to the fore, especially given the speed at which we are being expected to act. So it will be important to clearly identify the priority areas that require immediate actions and those that can be delivered in the weeks to follow.
The main areas of focus will include:

I know that TACC were engaged in the development of the Local Cycling and Walking Implementation Plan (LCWIP) for Taunton and you asked about the consultation process. The LCWIP is being finalised but it is unlikely, given the situation, that it will go out for consultation before the end of June. My colleague [… – Ed.] will keep you advised.
One of the immediate tasks in our planning will be to review the LCWIP for any early wins and some of the elements might come forwards earlier.

You and other groups across the county have been submitting items for consideration, ranging from quite small schemes to larger area wide opportunities. Please be assured that these are all being actively considered and will inform the next stage of our programme, which is the delivery of wider opportunities and support to the behaviour change needed to properly embed the shift to more active travel patterns.

There is an expectation to encourage more active travel and we are rapidly putting an approach in place. But we will need to keep pushing government to release more money for walking and cycling initiatives, including the announced £2billion and more detail on how and when that will be made available.
These will be far reaching changes to the nature of our towns and communities, and will affect a wide range of road uses including maintenance, emergency services, public transport, and of course our elderly and disabled travellers.

But we are committed to delivering the scale and pace of change that will make the most of current opportunities and hope to be able to embed longer term behaviour changes.
We will be communicating more news of the changes and their impacts as soon as we are able and to ensure that we have your support and further involvement going forwards.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.