- Work could start in early 2021.
- More cycle parking, priority for cyclists at junctions, and new 20mph zones could also be considered.
HIGHWAYS improvements to make it easier for walking and cycling in Staffordshire are set to go ahead in the new year.
The £1.8 million from the Government’s Active Travel Fund will help to deliver the county council’s local cycling and walking infrastructure plan.
The funding comes as part of the £2bn announced for cycling and walking by the Government.
Warwickshire Council is also to receive £979,450 from the Government
The improvements will help encourage more people to travel this way for shorter journeys while helping improve people’s health.
It is expected that permanent schemes could be introduced in Stafford, Cannock, Newcastle-under-Lyme and Burton upon Trent.
Improvements could include new segregated cycle lanes, wider and more even pavements, narrowing of some wider roads and additional crossing facilities. More cycle parking, priority for cyclists at junctions, and new 20mph zones could also be considered.
Work could start in early 2021 following consultation and discussions with local communities, businesses and partners who will have their say on the proposals.
David Williams, cabinet member for highways and transport at Staffordshire County Council said:
“As a county council, we are keen to see more people cycling and walking, both for leisure and education and also for getting to and from work. Not only is this great for people’s health and wellbeing through increased exercise, but it also helps combat climate change, reduces congestion on our roads and helps limit air pollution.
“We have already seen an increase in the number of people using more active travel since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and we want to see this continue. Over the last five years we have invested over £7million in walking and cycling routes across the county and this latest wave of investment will help build on that success.
“It’s important that we get the schemes right and discussions with local communities and everyone involved will be key. These conversations will start as soon as our plans for consultation have been agreed by Government.”
The £183,000 temporary improvements introduced in August as part of the Emergency Active Travel Fund were designed to help make it easier for social distancing.
The measures are due to be removed in December, however, they could be made permanent if there is community support and if funding is available.
Speaking earlier this month Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“We want to do everything we can to make it easy for people to include some activity in their daily routines – whether that’s cycling to work or walking safely to school.
“We can see the public’s strong appetite for greener and more active travel, and this funding will help ensure the right infrastructure is in place to build truly active neighbourhoods.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:
“It has been great to see so many people build cycling and walking into their daily travel habits. To support them, we know it’s vital to have the right infrastructure in place so everyone – cyclists, pedestrians and motorists – can use our roads.
“Whether you’re walking, cycling, driving or using public transport, people must have the space they need to get around safely.”
Further information on the funding allocation is available here.