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Opening streets for people

May 29, 2020 2:47 PM
By WC

Wiltshire Council is to receive £227,000 of government funding for temporary and pop-up measures to create a safe environment for walking and cycling.

Following significant changes in travel behaviours during COVID-19 which saw more people choosing to walk and cycle during their daily exercise, these new measures will help encourage walking and cycling activity to continue whilst maintaining social distance. They play a key role in helping to avoid overcrowding on public transport as shops and businesses start to reopen.

This indicative allocation is part of the first tranche of funding from the government's £250 million Emergency Active Travel Fund. The initial focus promotes cycling as a replacement for journeys previously made by public transport and could include closing some roads to through traffic, installing segregated cycle lanes and widening pavements.

Many suggestions for schemes across the county have been received and those that meet the funding criteria, including timescales, will be prioritised. Work on these priority schemes will need to start within four weeks of receiving the funding and completed within eight weeks.

A further tranche of funding is likely to be released later in the summer and will help permanent cycling and walking measures throughout the county.

In addition, Wiltshire Council has been awarded approximately £450,000 to help the safe reopening of high streets across Wiltshire.

This funding comes from the government's Reopening High Streets Safely Fund and supports measures that ensure businesses and their customers can trade safely. This could include temporary changes to public spaces owned by the council and which are next to businesses so they can be reopened safely, and supporting retailers on how to make temporary adjustments to their premises to comply with social distancing.