Cheshire East Council is stepping up its focus on active travel as part of its plans to support the borough through the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Over the last few weeks town and parish councils and local ward members have submitted more than 500 local ideas as to what measures may work in their towns and villages. The council is now developing a series of projects, informed by these ideas, that will be delivered this summer, including:
● Pop-up cycle lanes, with protected spaces for cycling;
● Measures to reduce rat-running in streets;
● Improved walking and cycling routes to school;
● Safer junctions, with the potential for bus and cycle-only corridors;
● Implementing lower speed limits; and
● Wider pavements, which also enables social distancing.
Councillor Laura Crane, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for highways, said: "I would like to reiterate my thanks to everyone who has worked with us so quickly to submit ideas and proposals regarding active travel on behalf of our towns and villages.
"People's travel behaviour has changed during the lockdown. We have seen an increase in more people walking and cycling in our borough and as more people turn to these active ways of travel, we need to work together to provide safe spaces for people to carry out these journeys.
"We will continue to work with the town and parish councils to develop, review and refine these measures.
"Due to the short timescales surrounding these schemes, any implementation will be done on an experimental basis. This means we can amend and improve the schemes as we go, before anything permanent is put into place.
"Our aim is to deliver schemes that are right for each town and developed in partnership with each local area."
Councillor Suzie Akers Smith, Cheshire East Council's walking and cycling champion, said: "There are long-term benefits to our health and environment by taking up daily active travel throughout our borough.
"There has never been a better time to walk or cycle – especially shorter journeys included as part of our daily activity or Footstep Friday and Cycle Saturday for weekly journeys. This type of activity helps to forge greener habits.
"Not only will the uptake of active travel reduce congestion and improve air quality across the borough, they will help us tackle our ambition to fight climate change."
Detailed plans for active town measures are being developed now and will be published ahead of their implementation over the coming weeks.