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Re-allocating road space: new statutory guidance for local authorities

Guidance for local authorities on managing their road networks in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

10 May 2020

 

Fast-tracked statutory guidance, published on May 9 and effective immediately, will tell councils to reallocate roadspace for significantly-increased numbers of cyclists and pedestrians. In towns and cities, some streets could become bike and bus-only while others remain available for motorists.

More side streets could be closed to through traffic, to create low-traffic neighbourhoods and reduce rat-running while maintaining access for vehicles.

Transport Minister Grant Shapps said: 'The government ... expects local authorities to make significant changes to their road layouts to give more space to cyclists and pedestrians. Such changes will help embed altered behaviours and demonstrate the positive effects of active travel.

'I’m pleased to see that many authorities have already begun to do this, and I urge you all to consider how you can begin to make use of the tools in this guidance, to make sure you do what is necessary to ensure transport networks support recovery from the COVID-19 emergency and provide a lasting legacy of greener, safer transport.'

New Traffic signs to support social distancing have been released.

The government ... expects local authorities to make significant changes to their road layouts to give more space to cyclists and pedestrians. Such changes will help embed altered behaviours and demonstrate the positive effects of active travel

Pop-up bike lanes with protected space for cycling, wider pavements, safer junctions, and cycle and bus-only corridors will be created in England within weeks as part of a £250 million emergency active travel fund - the first stage of a £2 billion investment, as part of the £5 billion in new funding announced for cycling and buses in February.

Such alternative ways to travel could relieve the pressure on public transport, it is hoped.

It is also hoped that Government will bring forward further COVID recovery policies that can deliver both economic and climate goals.

Such stimulus policies, for example those outlined in the The Department our Transport's transport decarbonisation plan, would deliver large economic multipliers, reasonably quickly, and 'shift our emissions trajectory towards net zero.

The recovery packages can either kill these two birds with one stone – setting the global economy on a pathway towards net-zero emissions – or lock us into a fossil system from which it will be nearly impossible to escape, writes report lead author Cameron Hepburn, Director of the Oxford Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment.

 
 
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