An award of £8million to Kent County Council will be used for several walking and cycling projects, including trial ‘pop-up’ cycle facilities, widening some existing cycle lanes and cones and barriers to widen some footways particularly outside shops and transport hubs.
The scheme will also aim to encouraging walking and cycling to school and introduce trial 20mph speed limits where appropriate and locally supported.
There will be pedestrian and cycle zones, with the possible introduction of low traffic neighbourhoods and maybe modal filters, additional cycle parking facilities at locations, such as outside stations and in high streets and a change to junction designs to accommodate more cyclists
KCC is also proposing ‘whole-route’ approaches to create corridors for buses, cycles and access only on key routes into town and city centres.
The cash comes from a £70million government fund aimed at restarting local economies and making roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
The first round of government funding will be £1.6 million with the remainder subject to agreement if spent within eight weeks.
Since lockdown on March 23, Kent Highways has recorded a 300% increase in the number of people cycling and a recent survey of people across the county found 63% supported the idea of more cycle lanes.
Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport Michael Payne said: “I very much welcome this funding and we can now get started on planning some short, medium, and longer-term schemes for those walking and cycling.
“I hope this will encourage more people to walk and cycle as the health benefits speak for themselves. This investment will allow our active travel options to be enhanced and improved so that these journeys remain safe and sustainable.
“We will be looking into the possibility of reallocating road space for walking and cycling, encouraging people to take part in active travel, for instance going to school, and reducing speed limits where appropriate.
“I very much hope that the number of people cycling and walking increases as there are a wealth of benefits to our communities if people are more active – lower traffic levels, reduced congestion, less road noise and improved air quality.
“But to make these changes long lasting we need to work together, and this can only be achieved with local support.”
Working with colleagues in local districts and boroughs, KCC is arranging to implement temporary signs that reinforce the social distancing message.
As part of the Department for Transport Access Fund programme, KCC has worked alongside Cycle Community CIC based in Ashford supplying 50 refurbished bikes to key NHS staff.
The bikes have been supplied with safety equipment including helmets, locks, lights and hi-vis vests.
County Councillor Barry Lewis, who represents Margate, said he welcomed the scheme, particularly the plans for 20mph areas.
He said@: “I welcome the fact that KCC is now going to encourage local 20mph speed limits which is something I have been calling for for several years. Athelstan Road will hopefully be one of the first to be included in this. I have already, through my member’s grant, given a number of bicycles to local schools so children can be encouraged to cycle to school rather than being taken by car.”
We had some of this done years ago but didn’t go far enough in Margate something needs to be done along the seafront to encourage this the plan for the seafront some years ago to only allow buses taxis and cyclists only the problem was the road round the back perhaps a new road scheme brought in by diverting traffic in another direction as pavements go it’s time action was taken against people parking four wheels on the pavement sometimes more than one car.preventative barriers or bollards installed around that part of marine drive.to prevent this illegal parking.
Thats good news. We will have to be vigilent and see it happens
It sounds great but there is little point in 20mph if they are not enforced as anyone who knows Stone road/Nelson Place/Albion Street will tell you.
Good news. In addition we need laws to enforce the use of a cycle path when present. A number of cyclists ignore those which are in perfectly good condition causing them to be at risk on roads which have been narrowed to accommodate them. If we are going to spend 8 million, please have the good grace to get your monies worth out of them.. And yes I do ride a bike too ?
It is not mandatory for cyclists to use cycle paths. Cyclists are road users in the eye of the law, and arguably have more justification being on the road than motor vehicles do.
I wonder who KCC is going to consult with over the spending of this money? For example, there is a cycle route from Ramsgate to Sandwich and beyond, some off road, and some on a shared use cycle/foot path. But every time it crosses a minor road, or even access to a premises, there is a sign saying “Cyclist Dismount”. Why? The whole point of a cycle lane is to provide a safe, joined up route for cyclists. That objective is not reached if, every 100 yards or so, cyclists have to get off their bikes.
On popular shared use sections, where there is room, separate secti0ons should be marked out for cyclists and pedestrians.
An exemplar, both of original bad practice and what can be achieved with joined up thinking, is the “Cycle Superhighway” scheme in London (one of the few things Boris got right!
I do hope that in spending this money, KCC consults with cyclists as well as motorists.
I agree that all parties need to be consulted. However IF a cycle path is supplied it should be used. A number of roads were reduced in size to accommodate these paths. By riding on what is sometimes a road with a high speed limit they are a danger to themselves and create a danger to vehicles attempting to pass them.
A cycle path, to be of any use, needs to be joined up. There’s no point in providing a “facility” if it’s no good. The “Cycle Superhighways” when first introduced, were occasionally lethally dangerous, because they petered out just when they shouldn’t, or were crossed by side roads and the side road had priority. In those circumstances, it was safer for cyclists to use the road rather than the cycle lane.
Best way to get a cycle path used is to make it good enough to use, as has been said stopping at junctions isn’t a good way to cycle. Cyclists pay for the roads, so why not use them?
One thing we need is for cycle paths to be clearly segregated from pedestrians. The thoughtless minority of cyclists behaves as if they own the shared-use path in Ramsgate- by cycling too fast, by coming too close to pedestrians, by not warning pedestrians that they are approaching and intend to overtake them. These people damage the reputation of cyclists in general.
“Proper” cyclists refer to such people as POBs (Person On Bike).
“Proper” cyclists (like me) obey the rules of the road. Usually.
Yes Twenty’s Plenty, and should be policed, but even at 30mph, they don’t! You could lose that money in Thanet alone the roads are so poor, some 3rd world countries would be ashamed of them! They are dangerous, what with sunken drain covers, and potholes, so I wouldn’t recommend a beginner starting today! Cycle paths are just as bad, their cycle logo’s have virtually disappeared, so pedestrian walk on the wrong half without knowing it! I had to ring my bell furiously yesterday, and got right up behind a couple before they realised they were on a cycle path, and moved out the way! Many cycle paths are breaking up with tree roots, and make it an uncomfortable ride, so I sometimes use the road!
Ive said before, Change bus route to avoid going through cecil sq by using eaton road.Have a better one way system.no traffic in lower high st. Clean up the town