To help with social distancing, Dorset Council has been given a government grant of just over half a million pounds to improve walking and cycling routes and now residents in Swanage and across the county are being asked for ideas on where to spend it.
The plan is to spend the money on projects like reducing congestion on pavements and encouraging people to cycle rather than take public transport. This is to promote public health, support physical distancing and help prevent a second wave of COVID-19.
Widening footways and installing cycle lanes
Solutions could include:
- Widening footways, especially on high streets, to ensure that those walking and queuing for essential goods can keep apart from each other
- Installing measures to restrict through-traffic from some streets to ensure that physical distancing can occur, especially on access routes to local amenities
- Installing temporary cycle lanes separated from traffic, particularly on routes where cycle use is high
Dorset Council is asking residents to submit their suggestions on an online map. This then pinpoints the place they would like to see improving and allows others to see the ideas too.
“Real opportunity for transformative change”
Councillor Ray Bryan, Portfolio holder for highways, travel and environment, said:
“We’re committed to helping residents move safely around towns and villages during social distancing, and we recognise this will get more difficult as further restrictions are lifted.
“This is a real opportunity for transformative change in how we make short journeys and we want to get it right – enabling our residents to continue their new-found walking and cycling habits for work and leisure.
“We are already engaging with parish and town councils to understand where the immediate crowding issues are that could negate social distancing efforts on high streets, but we need help from all parts of our communities to get a clear picture of concerns and priorities across the wider Dorset Council area.”
To have your say, go to the ‘Safe streets for Dorset’ online map by the end of July 2020.