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Consultation plan for active travel schemes launched

Two schemes to improve walking and cycling routes using £500k government funding to encourage more active travel will be consulted on by Bath and North East Somerset Council.

The council today (Friday December 11) set out its consultation plan for the proposed schemes which could see improvements to Upper Bristol Road and from the city centre to Bath University along North Road.

And a Combe Down to Bath University scheme, while not part of the Active Travel Funding programme, will also be consulted on to gather views on how these schemes may link into the wider strategic cycling network in the future.

Active Travel Funding was launched in May by the Department for Transport in response to Covid as the country came out of the first lockdown. Its first tranche of funding was for temporary highway schemes to aid social distancing and help enable more journeys to be taken by walking and cycling by reallocating road space.

The council installed a number of measures including pavement widening at 15 locations in Bath, turning a number of roads in Bath city centre and Keynsham High Street into pedestrian and cycle zones, and automating pedestrian crossings at the busiest traffic signal junctions so that people didn’t need to push the button to activate the crossing.

Through the West of England Combined Authority, the council then submitted a bid to the Department for Transport’s second tranche of funding for Active Travel schemes.

The purpose behind the second tranche of funding is to provide an alternative to journeys that may previously have been taken by public transport, which still have reduced capacity due to social distancing, and also help enable more people to walk and cycle for short, local trips.

Councillor Joanna Wright, joint cabinet member for Transport Services, said: “We have been awarded £500,000 government funding which is coming through the West of England Combined Authority to fund active travel routes. Today we are setting out our consultation plan for two proposed routes. The plan shows when more detailed information on each scheme will be available and how people can take part to have their say early in the New Year.

“The schemes introduced under the first tranche of Department for Transport Funding and the routes we are proposing along Upper Bristol Road and North Road contribute to our wider plans to make walking and cycling more convenient, safer and help us to live healthier lives.”

The council is currently consulting on a City Centre Security Scheme which proposes to permanently strengthen on-street security within Bath City Centre’s busiest streets and spaces and which would mean vehicle access restrictions within the city centre’s most crowded streets. You can take part here.

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