£385k borough boost for cycling and walking improvements

Published Friday 5 June 2020 at 11:47

Many people have discovered the joy of cycling and walking during lockdown, for some it’s been a form of exercise, for others it’s been a safe, socially distanced way of travelling.

As the country and our borough starts to return to work, and whilst people are asked to avoid public transport where possible, there is a fear that our roads could become more congested by an increase in car journeys.

In an effort to help commuters ditch their cars, the Department for Transport recently launched a £250 million ‘emergency active travel fund’ to help make local roads safer for cyclists and walkers to use.

Blackburn with Darwen council will receive £385,000.

Phil Riley, Executive Member for Growth and Development, said:

We’ve always been very proactive in supporting measures to enable active travel like walking and cycling. It’s especially important we continue that trend in response to the coronavirus pandemic and this funding will allow us to bring in some immediate and longer-term improvements.

In the immediate-term we will promote pre-existing cycle routes, install new signage and make cycle-safe improvements to junctions. We will then develop a longer-term strategic plan that will deliver projects within the Government guidance such as extending existing routes, pop up cycleways and storage improvements, bringing forward permanent schemes as well as a programme of events and community schemes like those that encourage walking to schools

Damian Talbot, Executive Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said:

This is welcome news and will help us build a healthier borough. Improving our infrastructure to enable more people to walk and cycle to work, school and the shops safely is real positive step for our residents’ health.  Being physically active reduces the risk of many long-term conditions and diseases and helps reduce air pollution which is harmful to health.

Work is expected to start in the next few weeks.

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