Tim Thorne from CycleWight shares this latest news. Ed
More people are walking and cycling with the Coronavirus lock down.
The benefits are easy to see: quieter, cleaner air, less congestion and more people taking part in active travel with all of its associated benefits.
All indications are that social distancing is likely to be a part of our lives for some time to come. In many places on the Isle of Wight, social distancing is already difficult with narrow footways and cycleways making it difficult for people to exercise safely and in a socially responsible way.
CycleWight have contacted the Isle of Wight Council with a list of ideas to make it easier for people to keep a social distance while walking and cycling as regulations linked to lock down are relaxed.
- removing some parking places to give more room to pedestrians in shopping streets
- exclude cars where roads are narrow, e.g. Little London
- to make some roads 20mph to make it safer for cyclists and pedestrians
- keeping footpaths and cycle tracks cut back.
Given the opportunity people will participate in Active Travel
This is happening all over the world. A successful project in Leicester saw a temporary cycle lane created to help key workers.
On the Island, the Council’s Access Fund has launched a scheme to hire bikes to key workers. This has been very successful with over 60 bikes borrowed in just a couple of weeks. Both stories show that if given the opportunity people will participate in Active Travel. (This scheme is no longer available)
A need for swift action
Our initial response from the council has been positive, but the group feel that there is a need for swift action so any decisions made will have time to be in place before regulations are relaxed.
The Council has just adopted its Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan, (LCWIP) which provides many ideas on routes and paths.
Cycling UK has issued a briefing paper for local authorities to help with introducing the measures necessary to make this happen. This is attached. We have also sent a copy to the Council.
Image: © Visit Isle of Wight