West Berkshire Council has been awarded £124,000 from the Department for Transport to help us introduce pop-up and temporary interventions to create an environment that is safe for both walking and cycling.
The allocation is part of the Government’s emergency active travel fund and indicates what we will receive under 2 phases. Under phase 1, we will focus our efforts on measures that encourage active travel and can be implemented quickly to provide additional road-space for walking and cycling.
- additional cycle parking in a number of our towns and villages;
- temporary road closures and parking suspensions to enable social distancing in town centres;
- temporary exemption for cyclists in one way streets;
- Widening of footpaths at busy bus stops;
- Permanent conversions of temporary cycle ways.
Phase 2 will be released later in the summer to enable us to secure funding of £495,000 towards more permanent measures to encourage active travel.
Councillor Richard Somner, Executive Member for Transport and Countryside at West Berkshire Council, said: “The allocation of these funds for better road space for cyclists and pedestrians is very welcomed, and I am grateful to Officers and key stakeholders for the speed with which we have achieved the initial stages.
“Several suggestions for possible schemes have already been received from various sources within and outside the Council and we have informed the Department for Transport of the schemes we have chosen to include in Phase 1.
“These funds will help encourage our residents to follow the Government’s advice to increase levels of exercise during this pandemic by walking and cycling more to avoid points of contact while using public and private transport.
“Phase 2 will also give greater scope for bringing forward planned measures from existing programmes of work and where required we will undertake public consultation. These small steps feed into our Environment Strategy for a cleaner and greener West Berkshire with less cars on the road and for our residents to enjoy and feel safe while out walking or cycling.”
Our Council strategy gives more details on our priorities to make West Berkshire a great place to live, work and visit.
You can see the list of locations for the first phase of temporary measures here: https://info.westberks.gov.uk/article/37306