A pop-up cycle lane in Preston is due to be removed due to low usage, but other measures to boost cycling as part of the emergency response to the coronavirus are being well used and could remain in place into next year.Advertisement
A number of measures have been introduced across the county to make it easier for people to cycle and walk as an alternative to using public transport where the number of seats on buses have been reduced due to the continued need for social distancing.
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These including temporary, or ‘pop-up’, cycle lanes in a number of places, using barriers and bollards to separate cyclists from other traffic.
More people were cycling for leisure during lockdown, with a big increase in bike sales, and these measures also aim to encourage cycling for regular journeys.
A lane which has been introduced on Riversway and Watery Lane is being taken out as the number of cyclists using it is relatively low, while the reopening of schools has seen a further increase in vehicle traffic.
County Councillor Keith Iddon, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “The coronavirus has resulted in many changes to our daily lives, with one of them being restrictions on public transport to prevent the spread of the virus, and advice to avoid using public transport if you can.
“We’ve been working to respond to this by doing what we can to improve alternative ways to travel, using funding available from the government for measures to make it easier for people to cycle.
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“We’ve introduced pop-up cycle lanes in a number of locations around the county, often on busy roads where we felt cyclists may benefit from more separation from traffic, and we’ve been monitoring how well they’ve been used, along with their impact on other road users.
“Our data shows that many of them are providing a benefit, however the pop-up lane on Riversway in Preston is not being used by enough cyclists at busy times to justify keeping it in, when balanced against the impact it is having on traffic, particularly as our roads are becoming busier again.
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“We’ll be keeping all of our COVID travel measures under review as we continue to respond to the need to keep the virus under control, and make any further changes to our roads and transport systems which may be needed.
“With new national restrictions beginning next week it’s clear we all need to play our part in keeping ourselves and others safe from the virus.
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“I’d urge people to consider cycling and walking if they can to reduce the pressure on public transport, and help to reduce the potential for congestion which could occur if too many people make additional journeys by car.”
The pop-up lane on Riversway began where an off-road shared path which is part of the Guild Wheel route leaves the A583 at Nelson Way, and ended at the Strand Road/Watery Lane junction, with the aim of creating a better direct connection for cyclists travelling to and from the city centre.
Work to remove it is due to begin today (10 September).
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