‘Distinct lack of imagination’ by Isle of Wight council over active travel plans, says IW Green Party

Vix Lowthion says the Isle of Wight council’s plans for pop up lanes and rows of plastic barriers is not adequate and that IW Council have “demonstrated a distinct lack of imagination when it comes to redesigning our towns to support active travel”

bicycles lined up

Vix Lowthion, Isle of Wight Green Party spokesperson, shares this latest news. Ed

Yesterday was World Bicycle Day, to promote cycling as a simple, affordable, clean and environmental way for us to get around. We have seen increasing numbers of Islanders get on their bikes and enjoy Isle of Wight designated cycletracks during the lockdown period.

But it has been a month since the government instructed councils across the country to allocate road space for both cyclists and pedestrians.

Council’s proposals are not adequate
Today the IW Council have published their plans for ‘Pop Up Lanes’ and rows of plastic barriers in our town centres, which they believe are adequate to provide space for pedestrians and to encourage confidence to get the public supporting our local shops and businesses.

The Council’s proposals are not adequate. Rows of plastic barriers and sandbags will blight our town centres and do nothing to encourage visitors.

People with disabilities  – visually impaired and mobility needs – will struggle to navigate the streets safely.

No plans for safer cycle journeys
There are still no published plans for increasing safe access for journeys by cycle in this critical recovery period.

The Government’s statutory guidance for Councils suggests:

“Pop-up bike lanes with protected space for cycling, wider pavements, safer junctions, and cycle and bus-only corridors will be created in England within weeks as part of a £250 million emergency active travel fund….some streets could become bike and bus-only while others remain available for motorists. More side streets could be closed to through traffic, to create low-traffic neighbourhoods and reduce rat-running while maintaining access for vehicles.”

£310,000 Emergency Active Travel Fund
The Isle of Wight Council has been granted £310,000 as our part of the government’s £250million Emergency Active Travel Fund. Analysis by the charities Sustrans and Cycling UK suggests that at least 100 temporary measures have been introduced by authorities in areas such as Edinburgh, Glasgow, Cardiff, Newcastle, Sheffield, Liverpool, Leeds, Ipswich, Southampton, Brighton and across London.

But still nothing for cyclists on the Isle of Wight.

Lowthion: Distinct lack of imagination
Vix Lowthion, IW Green Party spokesperson, said,

“It is disappointing to see the Isle of Wight Council have demonstrated a distinct lack of imagination when it comes to redesigning our towns to support active travel. Suspending some street parking and littering our pavements with rows and plastic barriers will make it worse for the public to move around safely, not better.

“They are clearly prioritising car use and traffic flow, above clean, safe streets for us all to enjoy.

“Instead of tokenistic measures like these proposals we should be promoting increased hours of pedestrianisation, cycle lanes to navigate through towns, and retaining the health and economic benefits of reduced vehicle traffic for the months to come.

“Perhaps our Council need our support to give them ideas that they can put into practice. An excellent tool is the Widen My Path Website. I urge Islanders to make suggestions via this site for the council to consider, or ‘agree’ with those already shared, so that we can see some real change on our streets in terms of safety and accessibility as soon as possible.”

Ideas can be submitted via the Widen My Path Website and will be shared with officers and elected councillors in the coming days.

Image: dennis under CC BY 2.0

Thursday, 4th June, 2020 12:27pm


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Filed under: Cycling, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Roads, Sports, Top story, Travel

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9 Comments on "‘Distinct lack of imagination’ by Isle of Wight council over active travel plans, says IW Green Party"

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Agree with Colin, the towns are small enough to easily walk around so there is no need for cycle lanes. Outside of the towns the roads are already too narrow – witness farm vehicles and coaches/buses struggle with oncoming traffic. Any road widening scheme would cost hundreds of millions. By the way, has Vix Lowthion always used a bike to get around? I have never seen her… Read more »

After the PsyOp lanes have been implemented and the roads narrowed they will introduce a congestion charge for all traffic into town centres which along with the unsocial distancing within small shops and businesses it will be the death of any shops and/or businesses in the high streets.


May I suggest that the able-bodied among us who live within perhaps a mile of a town or village centre, instead of travelling in by car, might walk there with a shopping trolley to transport heavy shopping home. You can buy 4-wheeled shopping trollies that spread the load.


I’m not sure why your comment had been downvoted 3 times as it seems like a reasonable suggestion to me.

Unless we are all going to be cycling with bags of shopping on our handlebars then there is no need for additional cycle lanes. Plus the roads are not big enough to alter to fit in pop-up cycle lanes. Most people who live in Newport will walk as they always do, and those living outside will travel in the car. Government statutory guidance is fine if the… Read more »
Unfortunately, you are right, Colin: during this pandemic the safest way to travel to do your shopping is by car, if you are coming some distance. The pandemic has temporarily silenced campaigns for environmentally friendly transport. I used to travel everywhere I could by bus. Yet it has also highlighted the many problems we face in our town centres with narrow pavements and traffic constantly roaring past,… Read more »

Two months later and what has the Isle of Wight Council done with the £310,000 it was granted as part of the government’s £250million Emergency Active Travel Fund? Lockdown is over and all i have seen is some plastic barriers along Newport highstreet. Surely this is not worth £310000!

@Sally can you look into this?


As I’ve said elsewhere,we already have cycle lanes,altho’ most people call them foot paths or pavements.

Mark L Francis

I will either cycle or I won’t cycle regardless of how much plastic junk is used to block the roads. I used to cycle 7 miles to school & (when not “Shielding”) I still cycle 7 miles to work.