New temporary measures in Lancaster to support cycling
Thursday, September 10, 2020
Lancashire County Council is making some temporary changes to traffic in Lancaster city centre to support cycling as part of the emergency response to the coronavirus.
The county council has been working closely with district and borough councils to safely reopen city centres as footfall increases, and prioritise walking and cycling due to continued restrictions on public transport.
The government has advised that where possible active travel should be used as an alternative to public transport in order to prevent overcrowding. Particularly with capacity of existing services being reduced due to social distancing guidelines, there is an urgent need to support cycling and walking.
If too many people who previously used public transport choose to drive this could lead to more traffic congestion in busy areas, so the county council is taking advantage of government funding available to introduce temporary measures to make it easier for people to cycle and walk, and maintain safe social distancing.
New measures being introduced on the evening of Thursday 10 September will see the existing cycle lane on the northbound side of King Street reinforced with traffic cylinders to create a safer environment for cyclists by providing some separation from traffic on this very busy road. There will be suitable breaks in the cylinders to allow vehicles to access private parking and load/unload.
Queen Street will also be closed at its junction with King Street which will be combined with a one-way being introduced on Queen Square from King Street towards Queen Street. This is intended to improve safety for cyclists at the Queen Street/King Street junction, with vehicles being directed to follow a short diversion via Aldcliffe Road. It will also make Queen Street a quieter route for cyclists and pedestrians.
County Councillor Keith Iddon, Lancashire County Council cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "Over the last few months we have all seen significant changes to our day to day lives, to how businesses operate and how people use our public spaces, as a result of the measures taken by every one of us in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We're working closely with councils throughout Lancashire to make our city centres as safe as possible as restrictions ease and footfall increases.
"Current advice is to use alternatives to public transport if you can due to the reduction in seats needed for social distancing, so instead we're asking people to walk and cycle if they can.
"Our focus is to prevent the spread of the virus, and make it easier to walk and cycle due to the continuing restrictions on public transport, using funding available from government to make temporary changes to highways and public areas.
"These temporary changes to traffic in Lancaster will make it easier for people to cycle as an alternative to using public transport or driving.
"These measures are part of our emergency response to help Lancashire control and recover from the coronavirus, and we will keep them under review."
There has been an increase in people cycling during lockdown, and Lancashire County Council is currently running a campaign called Switch to Cycling to highlight the support available for anyone who wants to make a habit of using their bike for short journeys.
Tagged as: Roads, Parking and Travel