COUNCIL chiefs have been urged to consider more off-road walking and cycling routes in the continued fight against the Coronavirus.
Liberal Democrats on Wychavon District Council have called on the ruling Conservative group to take advantage of the recent relaxation of regulations by the Department for Transport, which make it easier for councils to give temporary precedence to pedestrians and cyclists.
Transport minister Grant Shapps announced a £2billion package to put cycling and walking at the heart of the UK government’s transport policy, and Wychavon’s Liberal Democrat councillors are keen to ensure people can safely commute during and after the pandemic.
Coun Margaret Rowley, Liberal Democrats leader, said: “During lockdown, with fewer vehicles on the roads, more people have been exercising by cycling and walking.
“If we take advantage of this opportunity for additional funding, it would be a welcome release for our residents who may also be considering how to get to work safely as the lockdown is eased, but are worried about pavements being too narrow to walk or cycle whilst maintaining social distance.
“With a national cycling plan being published in June to help double cycling and increase walking by 2025, there is a real opportunity to change how we live and travel in the area”.
Coun Rowley said she and her Liberal Democrat colleagues would welcome suggestions from the public on which roads they think should opened up to pedestrians and cyclists either temporarily or as a trial scheme may be made permanent.
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