County council secure £351,000 for Northamptonshire 'Covid-19 safer travel' plans

The money will go towards making travel safer for pedestrians and cyclists in a world of social distancing

The county council has been handed funding to make Northamptonshire safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
The county council has been handed funding to make Northamptonshire safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

The county council has secured the first stage of a funding scheme to make Northamptonshire safer to travel with social distancing.

The authority has been promised £351,000 of funding for projects and 'tweaks' to make travel for Northamptonshire's cyclists and pedestrians easier with social distancing.

If the council's plans progress, the funding could rise to as much as £1.7m as part of the Government's Emergency Active Travel fund.

Initial plans announced last week include creating extra space for cyclists and pedestrians on Montagu Street in Kettering.

Another idea being considered is using traffic measures to prioritise cyclists on London Road in Daventry, St Giles Street in Northampton and a number of roads in Kettering.

New secure cycle parking spots and cycle lanes across the county are also being considered - but the location of where these might be has not been published.

The changes are being paid for by the Government's Emergency Active Travel fund, which will go up to £1.7m when the council submits more detailed plans.

Other plans include installing counters on four roads in Northampton - Kettering Road, Harlestone Road, Newport Pagnell Road and Mereway - to track the number of cyclists using the routes.

Another is to introduce "enforcement cameras" on Weedon Road in Northampton, 'upgrade and extend' bus and active travel lanes, and to make existing routes 'safer and more attractive for cyclists'.

Councillor Jason Smithers, county council cabinet member for Highways and Place said: “I’m delighted that we have been able to progress these quick-win proposals so promptly as they will make a big difference to people who are making their journeys on foot or by bike.

“We’ve all noticed how many more people are cycling since lockdown has started to be eased, so it makes sense that we step in and help facilitate this

as much as possible.

“Travelling on foot or bike has widespread benefits in terms of wellbeing and also in being kind to the environment by reducing traffic congestion and

pollution.”

Work is also continuing in identifying medium-term to long-term cycling and walking projects.

It comes after more than 1,500 suggestions on how to use the money were put to the county council using an online map, which is still accepting submissions until.