A new temporary road closure in South Ribble has been introduced to help with social distancing and to encourage people to walk and cycle for regular journeys as lockdown restrictions are eased.Advertisement
A number of measures are already in place to give more space to pedestrians in busy areas, and make cycling easier, including a number of ‘point-closures’ which allow vehicles to access the full length of the road to reach homes and businesses via diversion routes, while preventing them being used as rat-runs where more suitable routes are available for through-traffic.
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The new temporary closure was introduced on Monday (July 13) at the junction of Shady Lane and Nells Lane near to the main entrance for Cuerden Valley Park.
This will reduce traffic levels on both roads, making them an attractive route for cyclists, by removing the opportunity for vehicles to use them as a direct route between south Preston and Clayton-le-Woods. This will keep through-traffic other than cycles on more suitable main routes such as Wigan Road and Lancaster Lane.
There will be diversion signs in place where roads are closed to direct drivers on alternative routes to their destinations.
County Councillor Keith Iddon, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We’re always looking for opportunities to make it easier for people to travel more sustainably, however current advice is to avoid using public transport unless your journey is really necessary, so instead we’re asking people to walk and cycle if they can.
“We’re building on the pop-up cycle lanes already in place by temporarily closing some roads at various points to make them quieter routes for cyclists and prevent rat-running, while facilitating access for vehicles via signed diversions.
Read more: New temporary road closures in Preston to aid social distancing
“This closure should make Shady Lane and Nells Lane less busy by keeping vehicle traffic on more suitable main routes and away from local roads which are more suited for cycling.
“Our aim is to create a network of better links for cyclists on routes into town and city centres to encourage people to use their bikes for regular journeys, such as getting to work.
“While social distancing restrictions have eased somewhat, we expect them to affect the way people can use public transport for some time to come, with the risk that this could lead to an increase in people driving and cause more congestion on the roads.
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“If creating these quieter routes, and pop-up cycle lanes, make some people feel more able to cycle instead of driving or using public transport for regular journeys, they will have been worthwhile.
“At the same time they are a temporary measure as part of our response to the coronavirus crisis, and we will keep them under review.”
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