Covid-19: Wiltshire roads to alter for cyclists and pedestrians

Covid-19: Wiltshire roads to alter for cyclists and pedestrians

Published by The Spire FM News Team at 12:20pm 21st May 2020.

3 minute read

Some roads across the county are set to be transformed to help with social distancing.

Wiltshire Council is working on a series of projects to make significant changes to road layouts to give more space to cyclists and pedestrians, following recent guidance from the Department of Transport to reallocate road space in response to COVID-19.

As the number of cars on the road has fallen considerably in recent months, more people have been walking and cycling for exercise and to travel to essential work.

There's concern as lockdown restrictions are eased, increased levels of traffic may make it more dangerous for people to walk or cycle safely and maintain the 2m social distancing requirement.

Current government advice is that people should avoid using public transport.

Cllr Bridget Wayman, Cabinet Member for Highways, said:

"We're keen to develop reallocated road spaces to encourage walking and cycling as soon as possible, and we're working closely with local members and town and parish councils to ensure there is local support for any scheme that is progressed.

"We don't yet know how many schemes we'll be able to take forward in Wiltshire, as the funding from central government has yet to be finalised, but we're looking to create as many cycling and pedestrian schemes as we can to really capitalise on the behavioural changes many have made during lockdown."

Cycle path Pixabay
Safer routes for cyclists will be created.

WHICH ROADS WILL BE CHOSEN?

Teams of officers for each of Wiltshire Council's 18 community areas will work closely with local members and town and parish councils to identify potential sites.

You can put forward your own suggestion too by email  Integrated.transport@wiltshire.gov.uk

A panel of officers will decide which schemes are suitable and the order in which they are implemented with the work expected to take place over the Summer.

Wiltshire Council stress the panel will identify "practical solutions" that will see other changes in our streets - for example, some schemes may replace some current parking spaces.

WHAT WILL WE SEE?

Once the schemes are agreed and progressed, on the ground, people will see changes in road markings.

They'll also be fixed bollards and barriers to keep pedestrians and cyclists safe and to enable social distancing.

If the schemes are successful Wiltshire Council say there's a chance they will become permanent, but this would be decided on a case by case basis.

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