The follow letter was sent to Worcester City Council and Worcestershire County Council:
Social Distancing and Cycling
We are writing to let you know about Cycling UK’s initiative to highlight some simple things local authorities can do to help with social distancing. You may also have read about it in this week’s Local Government Chronicle (24 April). All over Europe pop up cycle lanes and wider pedestrian pavements are being created to help people commute, shop for essentials and carry out their daily exercise whilst having regard to social distancing. Ideas can be found at:
We are sure many of the Council’s Members will have noticed the increased numbers of cyclists, runners and walkers now out and about, both in town and in the countryside. As cyclists we have also noticed that cars seem to be driving slower and giving us and pedestrians more time and space. Its making cycling seem safer and its noticeable how many more families with very young children are now giving on-road cycling a go as part of their daily exercise.
We at BikeWorcester are keen to see this trend grow. If we are to gradually ease lockdown its possible that schools and local shops will be among the first to re-open. This is an amazing opportunity to keep kids cycling and turn the school run into the school cycle. So many additional benefits too – cleaner air, safer and slower neighbourhood driving and reduced congestion. And listening to the Government’s advisors we expect that space for social distancing is likely to be needed for a long time yet.
Around the world local authorities have realised this, and are implementing emergency measures to temporarily widen footpaths, create new cycle lanes and restrict motor traffic on residential streets and create low-traffic neighbourhoods: all designed to open up space and enable people to socially distance. We believe there is no reason why we can’t do this here. And we can do this with a mind for what kind of physical and social urban environment we want when this is over.
BikeWorcester members would be happy to share ideas and help with any local initiatives.
Danny Brothwell, Lyndon Bracewell, Paul Sobczyk and others of Bike Worcester.