Lincolnshire County Council has submitted plans to the Department for Transport for funding to make changes to our town and city streets.
The changes will predominantly focus on roads in Lincoln, Grantham, Boston, Spalding, Sleaford and Holbeach and include:
- Creating temporary cycle lanes using bollards, planters or cones
- Closing roads to vehicles to allow only pedestrians and cyclists
- Widening or creating new pedestrian crossings to maximise space for people
- Providing more cycle parking
- Relocating parking or loading bays to provide extra space for walking and queuing in town and city centres.
The measures will initially be temporary to allow them to be implemented as quickly as possible. However, each intervention will be assessed and could be made permanent.
If the plans are approved by the Department for Transport (DfT), all the work will be completed within just two months.
Cllr Richard Davies, executive member for highways and transport, said:
"As Lincolnshire continues to open up again, we're laying out plans to use temporary measures in our urban areas to promote cycling and walking as an alternative to other modes of transport and to encourage sustainable travel.
"We've focussed our plans on the places where these measures will make the most difference: these are compact urban areas where cycling and walking are feasible alternatives to both public transport and driving.
"The measures will also support retail businesses in our town and city centres, creating space for customers to social distance and queue safely.
"We're working on cycling and walking plans for each of our larger towns and Lincoln, so we'll see the effects these temporary measures have and they will be factored into the plans and could well be made permanent.
"Over the past few months, we've seen a huge rise in the number of people walking and cycling. Whilst traffic remains below pre-lockdown levels, we're still seeing almost double the number of cyclists on the roads, according to data from the DfT.
"We want to help make it easier for people to keep those new cycling and walking habits; pop-up cycle lanes, traffic-free streets and more space will allow us to do that."
The Government launched the emergency active travel fund in May 2020 to support more sustainable transport as part of the country's recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Local authorities will be allocated funding in two phases:
- To support the installation of temporary improvements and projects for the COVID-19 pandemic.
- To create longer term projects.
Lincolnshire County Council was provisionally allocated £211,000 for phase one, and £842,000 for phase two: a total investment of just over £1m. However, before receiving any funding, the council must submit satisfactory plans to the Department for Transport.
These plans are part of phase one. Phase two will take place at a later date.
Further details on the scheme – including the precise locations and nature of any changes to roads – will be released on the approval of the plans.
UPDATE: Cllr Richard Davies explains his disappointiment at the Department for Transport's decision to award Lincolnshire County Council half the money we applied for in the first round of this funding.