Councillors will tomorrow, Thursday 14 May, be asked to approve a transport action plan designed to support the city in its short, medium and long term recovery from the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The plan sets out key measures which respond to the changes we’ve seen in travel and the continued need to facilitate physical distancing. Its key principals include supporting vulnerable people, making essential journeys safer, supporting the local economy and the transition to a 2030 Carbon Neutral city.
The council has already taken steps to keep the city moving and support vulnerable people such as reallocating road space to install a new temporary cycle lane on the A270 Old Shoreham Road, closing Madeira Drive to motor vehicles and introducing 24-hour concessionary bus travel for disabled and older people.
Measures in the action plan, being put to the Policy & Resources Urgency Sub-Committee, include:
- ‘Pop-up’ cycle lanes
- Widening footways, particularly outside shops and transport hubs
- Increasing the length of some bus lanes
- Prioritising walking and cycling at junctions across the city
As well as the measures proposed in the action plan, officers will continue to work to bring forward permanent schemes already planned and agreed by the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee. This includes:
- Proposals for a car-free city centre
- A review of the current ultra-low emission zone
- Encouraging walking and cycling to school, for example through the introduction of more ‘school streets’ in line with requests already made by ETS Committee
- The development of the new Local Transport Plan and new Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP).
- Continuing to look for opportunities to deliver actions identified in the bus network review.
Chair of the Policy and Resources Committee, councillor Nancy Platts said: “We have seen huge changes to the way people are travelling around our city. There are more people walking and cycling and we’ve seen a 60% reduction in traffic on some of our key routes.”
“We’ve already taken significant steps to keep the city moving and promote active travel and I’ve been pleased by the positive response we’ve had to creating a new cycle lane on Old Shoreham Road and freeing up space for walking and cycling on Madeira Drive.
“But we need to do much more to support the city’s recovery. Making these changes to our transport network will enable more of us to walk, cycle and use public transport. In the short term this will help with physical distancing, but this will also have significant health and environmental benefits in the long term.
You can read the report being presented to committee on our website.