A package of measures are proposed to give pedestrians and cyclists in Tameside more safe space to travel and exercise while social distancing.
They are part of the wider Greater Manchester #SafeStreetsSaveLives campaign, where council leaders across the city region have committed to creating enhanced shared spaces during the coronavirus lockdown and through recovery.
Tameside Council’s proposals include key worker corridors for Ashton town centre, with areas temporarily coned off for cyclists and pedestrians as well as extended footpaths to enable social distancing outside supermarkets.
There are also plans for ‘access only’ quiet streets – based on the existing ‘play streets’ model - where residents can exercise on safer roads with no through traffic.
Other measures to create more space for social distancing include upgrading cycle lanes, creating temporary crossings, de-cluttering street furniture, removing guard rails and schemes to calm traffic.
The emergency changes will be matched to help ease social distancing at specific locations such as areas outside shops, transport hubs or routes to hospitals in the districts and funded through the Mayor’s Cycling and Walking Challenge Fund.
Across Greater Manchester, walking and cycling now accounts for approximately 33 per cent of all journeys, with cycling up 22 per cent compared to pre-lockdown data, whilst there has been a dramatic fall in traffic volumes, congestion and air pollution.
By encouraging the use of sustainable modes of transport, Greater Manchester is looking to Build Back Better as part its recovery plans while supporting the bold ambition to be carbon neutral by 2038 and honour its commitment to becoming a become a walking and cycling city-region.
Tameside Council Executive Leader, Cllr Brenda Warrington, said: "Quieter streets and less traffic are one of the huge positives to have come out of lockdown and we have also seen a spike in bicycle use and walking.
"As lockdown restrictions begin to ease, we want ensure people can continue to have the space to travel to and from work and school, exercise and go about their daily lives safely – being able to observe social distancing - on foot or by bicycle wherever possible and our proposed measures aim to support this."
For more information, visit www.tfgm.com/safestreets.
The council will be removing around 200 non-essential guard rails from Tameside’s pavements, such as this one in Oldham Road, Ashton, so people can keep a safe distance when making essential journeys.
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