ALMOST 40 “active travel” schemes, to make it easier for people to walk or cycle, are being developed to help Bradford in the post lockdown period.
At a meeting of Bradford Council’s decision making Executive next Tuesday, members will discuss what will be done to help the district recover from lockdown.
This includes active travel schemes, and efforts to make it easier for people to social distance in the busier public areas of the District.
A report to the committee says a total of 37 sites have been identified for social distancing measures that could include signage, social distanced seating areas, pedestrian lane markings, and the removal of street furniture. It says these measures will: “Increase social distancing opportunities and potentially assist food and beverage retail businesses in the area.”
The first such measures were installed in Shipley late last week, and included one way signage for pedestrians.
Work on a larger scale scheme is due to be introduced in Bradford city centre before non-essential shops reopen on June15. It will see lanes of Hall Ings closed to traffic to allow more cycling and socially distanced walking.
Lanes closed to cars and more 20mph zones - major changes to Bradford's streets planned to allow more social distancing
Last month the Government announced that it would be providing £250 million for active travel schemes across the country - aimed at encouraging people to keep walking and cycling after lockdown restrictions are lifted. In West Yorkshire, £12.567 million funding has so far been confirmed, split into two tranches. The first tranche of £2.513 million will be made available “in the near future.”
The Executive will hear that Bradford Council has reviewed 51 potential schemes in the past two weeks, which the report describes as “effectively undertaking 12 months of work in the space of three weeks.” It adds: “Some 39 schemes are being actively progressed.”
When asked for more detail about the schemes, a Council spokesperson said: “We have been concentrating on developing measures to support social distancing throughout the district at over 80 locations over the past two weeks at local retail centres since the announcement that some non-essential shops will be permitted to open from June 15. Bradford Council has already carried out much of this work including in Shipley over the weekend.
“Proposals for Bradford city centre are currently being developed, such as converting roadspace on Hall Ings to pedestrians and cyclists, but need to consider how they relate to public open spaces such as City Park as well as how social distancing can be maintained in the Jacobs Well subway. This means the plans for social distancing measures in the city centre are more complex and will take a little longer to develop. These measures are likely to be installed in the next seven to ten days and before more shops re-open on June 15.”
On the active travel schemes they added: ““Details of the schemes under consideration will be released as they are developed and progress to the consultation phase. As we do more detailed design work there may be insurmountable issues that crop up and therefore we would not want to set expectations for a specific scheme to be implemented until we are sure it can be delivered.”