Town hall chiefs in Tameside are exploring ways of making the borough’s streets safer for a post-coronavirus world – including new cycle lanes, ‘quiet streets’ and larger pavements.
Work is already underway in response to government instructions to ‘enhance’ shared spaces during the lockdown and recovery, to make it easier for people to stay two metres apart from each other.
This has included widening footways and improving cycle lanes so that public transport users can switch to bikes when they return to work.
The authority is also proposing ‘key worker corridors’, with areas temporarily zoned off for cyclists and pedestrians, as well as the creation of additional footway space by addressing ‘pinch-points’ and removing ‘street clutter’.
There are also plans for ‘access only’ quiet streets where residents can exercise on safer roads with no through traffic.
Other measures to create more space for social distancing include upgrading existing cycle lanes, creating temporary crossings, and schemes to calm traffic.
And the design and delivery of the plans for Albion Way in Ashton-under-Lyne, which is part of the Mayor’s Challenge fund scheme, are being accelerated.
That scheme will see new junctions introduced to reduce vehicle speed, cycling tracks, and better walking links to the new Ashton Interchange bus station.
Council leader Brenda Warrington said: “As the government eases social restrictions, we are required to make changes to ensure our residents are kept safe when out and about in the borough.
“Due to the fast pace of the situation, measures to give pedestrians and cyclists in Tameside more safe space to travel while social distancing are being quickly implemented.
“Although these changes are mandated, temporary measures, we are seeking to find permanent solutions to make our borough safer for everyone.
“We therefore want local residents to have their say on these changes so we can look to consider any improvements to the temporary measures and work together to explore long-term opportunities.
“We want to harness and build on the positive shift we have seen towards more sustainable travel and make walking and cycling in Tameside an easier and safer way to travel and the natural choice for residents.”
The proposals include a review of existing cycle lanes, and the introduction of new cycle lanes could be introduced where there is available carriageway width and reduced traffic, which may include the introduction of light segregation ‘where applicable’.
Signs to promote social distancing would also be introduced, which would raise the profile of available walking and cycling routes in neighbourhoods.
The consultation will run until 5pm on July 2.
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