Temporary road closures, timed closures of streets outside schools, new cycle lanes, and advisory 10mph speed limits are among the Covid-19 social distancing traffic management measures being implemented by councils across the country.
Gloucestershire County Council has installed water-filled barriers on Bath Road in Cheltenham to allow for social distancing near shopping areas. Some on-street parking spaces on Tewkesbury High Street have been removed to give pedestrians and queuing shoppers more space.
Doncaster Council has implemented the full pedestrianisation of Doncaster town centre between 10am and 4pm. “As further retailers are able to open this will be vital to preventing an influx of personal motorised traffic into the centre and to facilitate the establishment of walking as a priority mode for town centre users.”
A network of pop-up cycling lanes, incorporating segregated lanes, contraflow lanes and crossing improvements is being designed and developed around Barnsley town centre.
Stockport Council is planning temporary shared space schemes in local and district centres with gateway features and signage at the entry points. Advisory 10mph speed limits could be posted, supported by temporary bolted down traffic calming features at close intervals.
“This limit would not be enforceable so the traffic calming features will need to be fairly severe (although will still need to comply with highway standards) and frequently spaced,” reported officers. “Speed cushions are recommended in place of humps so as not to discomfort bus passengers or patients in ambulances.”
London boroughs had until 19 June to submit proposals to Transport for London’s £45m Streetspace for London fund.
The London Borough of Merton is bidding for funds to install cycle lanes, ten low traffic neighbourhoods, and 20 school streets schemes.
The London Borough of Richmond’s preference is to accelerate the introduction of permanent cycle schemes, rather than temporary schemes, though it will look at the latter too, “ideally as a precursor for permanent change to follow”.
“The council’s preference is to accelerate permanent cycle corridor enhancements such as Kew Road.”
Kew Road connects cycle facilities on the A316 and the (soon to be completed) Cycle Superhighway 9 on the north side of Kew Bridge. Richmond says the road “is also one of the most dangerous in the borough”.
It has been planning to install fully segregated cycle lanes in both directions on the road but has now revised the plans, with just light segregation between the cycle lanes and traffic lane, with some minimal changes to road layout.
The London Borough of Islington is to install bollards, planters and enforcement cameras to create ‘low traffic neighbourhoods’ .
By the end of 2020 the council plans to have ‘school street’ traffic restrictions operating at the start and end of the school day outside every primary school in the borough not located on a main road. Thirteen school street schemes have been implemented so far and a further 26 such restrictions will be installed by the end of the calendar year.
The borough’s lorry control will be extended to every residential neighbourhood. The scheme restricts the movement of lorries above 7.5 tonnes (unladen) to main roads. Existing restrictions cover about 60 per cent of residential roads in the borough.
Islington has just ordered an additional 92 enforcement cameras at a cost of £2m.
Most of the above measures will be implemented with Experimental Traffic Orders, though some with Temporary Traffic Orders.
The Welsh Government has awarded councils £15.4m to create more space for active travel under social distancing restrictions. The Government has also published guidance to assist in the redesign of public spaces with high footfall.
Deputy transport minister Lee Waters said more than 200 proposals had been received from councils. “We asked local authorities to prioritise those schemes, which can be delivered within the next three to four months. Today is hopefully the start of our long-term project to enhance our town centres and public areas.”
£2m of the funding is specifically for schemes around schools.
Up to 15 locations in Cardiff will benefit from district and local centre footway, social distancing and public realm improvements.
In Swansea, there will be secure city centre bicycle parking and a park-and-cycle initiative at Landore, plus park-and-ride sites in Fabian Way.
The Isle of Anglesey will introduce social distancing measures at main bus stops.
In Carmarthenshire, footways will be upgraded, routes better signposted and road space reallocated so cyclists and pedestrians’ safer social distancing.
Rhyl town centre will see the suspension of sections of on-street parking for safer walking and cycling.
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