Proposals to support travel for work, school or leisure
East Lothian Council is seeking the public’s views on draft proposals aimed at improving the county’s sustainable travel network as part of the Spaces for People programme. Residents’ views are being sought on the newly published proposals ahead of the introduction of temporary measures designed to support public health guidelines.
The proposals will see the creation of a series of pop-up cycle lanes that will offer dedicated space for cycling on the road network. Plans for a temporary cycle lane linking Prestonpans and Cockenzie has already been commissioned, and plans for it have been well-received by the local community.
The measures are part of the £1.4m funding the council received from the Scottish Government and Sustrans to provide additional space for physical distancing. By increasing opportunities for safe cycling, the measures give cyclists of all abilities the space and confidence to travel by bike for work, school or leisure.
The proposed changes prioritise linking the county’s towns taking into account the landscape, speed limits and connections with schools. The temporary interventions will focus on protecting public health, supporting social distancing and prevent a second wave. In some cases, residents’ on street parking may be affected by the changes although care has been taken to minimise this impact when putting locations forward.
Engagement with local communities is important to understand the local picture, so council officers will hold meetings with key groups. The plans are available to view online using an interactive map so people can see how the temporary measures in their area will link with the wider environment. Comments are welcomed and the plans will be kept under review throughout this process and once they are installed to reflect the changing situation as Scotland continues its journey out of Covid-19.
The impending return of schools means that measures that directly link with secondary school communities are being prioritised, and feedback on these plans are invited within a shorter timescale so that changes can be introduced to support a safe return to school. Providing an alternative to private cars through active forms of travel, such as walking and cycling, will be crucial to creating space around schools that will benefit road safety, air quality and allow room for physical distancing to keep schools and their neighbours’ safe.
The proposals are available to view online at www.eastlothian.gov.uk/spacesforpeople