Following the recent Government announcements for funding to facilitate pedestrians, cyclists and ‘active travel’ Devon County Council (DCC) have included a section on their website. Click here for more details and potential solutions.
DCC outline their approach as follows:
Re-allocation of Roadspace for Active Travel
On Saturday 9th May the government publish new statutory guidance for highway authorities regarding the urgent need to reallocate road space towards pedestrians, cyclists and ‘active travel’.
The government recognise this moment as a once in a generation opportunity to deliver a lasting transformative change in how we make short journeys in our towns and cities. According to the National Travel Survey, in 2017-18 over 40% of urban journeys were under 2 miles – perfectly suited to walking and cycling.
Active travel is affordable, delivers significant health benefits, has been shown to improve wellbeing, mitigates congestion, improves air quality and has no carbon emissions at the point of use. Towns and cities based around active travel will have happier and healthier citizens as well as lasting local economic benefits.
The government therefore expects local authorities to make significant changes to their road layouts to give more space to cyclists and pedestrians. Such changes will help embed altered behaviours and demonstrate the positive effects of active travel.
In addition, the government has announced a national fund of £250m to enable these changes to be implemented. We are still awaiting details of the scope, funding for Devon and delivery arrangements.
What Can a Community Do?
DCC will be looking to bring forward schemes that focus on the arterial routes in and out of major towns and city and changes that can be made within our towns and city. We would like communities, including business communities to come forward with proposals that the County Council can help to facilitate. These proposals should be able to support local residents, the travelling public, businesses and the wider communities to keep themselves safe and active as we move toward the next step in our response to Covid-19.
Based on the priorities above, we will be contacting community representatives directly to start the conversation on what we could deliver to help promote active travel, if you have an idea or proposal we would ask that you share these ideas with your Town and Parish Council in the first instance.