Redesigning our spaces after the coronavirus: government guidance

“In the coming weeks and months, clear guidance from the government on using transport safely and efforts to build the infrastructure for walkers, runners and cyclists will be critical.”

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We need to be thinking about our public spaces:

Redesigning our spaces after the coronavirus

Redesigning our spaces after the coronavirus: part two

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And some spaces will be easier to redesign than others…

Old Fore Street, Sidmouth © Mike Smith cc-by-sa/2.0 :: Geograph …

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Meanwhile, the government has been providing guidance on how to manage public spaces:

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Traffic Management Act 2004: Network Management in Response to Covid-19
•The government has issued guidance https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reallocating-road-space-in-response-to-covid-19-statutory-guidance-for-local-authorities/traffic-management-act-2004-network-management-in-response-to-covid-19 setting out high-level principles to help local authorities to manage their roads to deal with Covid-19 response related issues. The government “expects local authorities to make significant changes to their road layouts to give more space to cyclists and pedestrians”, and that ”such changes will help embed altered behaviours and demonstrate the positive effects of active travel”. It provides additional information to the original Network Management Duty Guidance(November 2004) and will be reviewed on a regular basis.
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Encouraging Cycling and Walking
•The government has announced https://www.gov.uk/government/news/2-billion-package-to-create-new-era-for-cycling-and-walking £250 million emergency active travel fund to help create pop-up bike lanes with protected space for cycling, wider pavements, safer junctions, and cycle and bus-only corridors, in response to requirements such as the need for social distancing. “Following unprecedented levels of walking and cycling across the UK during the pandemic, the plans will help encourage more people to choose alternatives to public transport when they need to travel, making healthier habits easier and helping make sure the road, bus and rail networks are ready to respond to future increases in demand.
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Safe Use of Public Space
•The MHCLG has published guidance https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5ebbb57ae90e070831aeb0d3/Guidance_Safer_Public_Places_During_Covid_v5.7.pdf on enabling safe use of public spaces in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. It focuses on the design principles for safer urban centres and green spaces. It contains “information and examples of interventions that may be undertaken by the owners and operators of public spaces to keep people safe as and when the restrictions are relaxed and urban spaces become busier.”
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The question remains, however, whether this guidance will be enough:

 

How major cities are trying to keep people walking and cycling after the lockdown

Research suggests that 58% of car journeys in the UK are shorter than 5km, so walking or cycling could be the main alternative for many city dwellers. That’s how people in Denmark got around while still maintaining social distancing. More Danes are cycling than ever, but a cycling culture had already existed in the country for a long time.

Cultural changes can take a long time to take root. A lasting transformation of city streets will need careful planning and buy-in from the public. The enjoyment that many have taken from quieter streets during their daily exercise could produce a cultural shift towards more active travel and less car use in the UK. But in the coming weeks and months, clear guidance from the government on using transport safely and efforts to build the infrastructure for walkers, runners and cyclists will be critical to making it stick. Reshaping cities to allow people more space to walk and cycle will help lay the ground for permanent change.

How major cities are trying to keep people walking and cycling after the lockdown | weforum.org

   
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