GLASGOW could see an increase in cycle lanes around the city in order to support long term social distancing. Council bosses have revealed they are looking at ways to create temporary additional pavements and cycle paths as more people are out on bikes and walking during lockdown. But, with experts saying social distancing may last for some months as the country works to minimise coronavirus cases, more space is needed for pedestrians and cyclists. Other countries have been looking at temporary measures to reduce road space for cars and repurpose routes for active travel. Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction, confirmed that Glasgow is looking at similar measure. She said: “We are actively looking at how we could introduce temporary footways and cycle paths to help support social distancing. “We are still in lockdown, but there are already indications that social distancing will remain a feature of our lives in any case for some time to come. “When we are able to move around more freely, more space will be required for people walking and cycling to keep their distance and help stifle further spread of covid-19.” Sales of bikes have risen rapidly in Scotland since lockdown with people using their daily outdoor exercise time to cycle. With social distancing a vital part of keeping safe, and with fewer public transport options, cycle commuting is also becoming more popular. Cycling Scotland’s figures show that in some areas the number of cyclists has doubled or more.
Glasgow Evening Times 20th April 2020 read more »
The government has temporarily relaxed laws around establishing car-free streets in England, in a move that should free up space for social distancing and allow essential workers to walk and cycle to work more safely while further improving air quality. Typically, any change of use for roads must be carefully publicised by local councils through local news outlets, letter drops, and on-site notices in order to give residents time to prepare for the changes and lodge any objections. But the new rule change gives councils the power to largely bypass these measures and make roads car-free more quickly. In a letter to councils last week, the Department for Transport emphasized the guidance is temporary and “will be withdrawn once conditions allow”. Brighton & Hove council immediately seized the opportunity providing, announcing on Friday its intention to close Madeira Drive, a long, wide seafront road with views of Brighton Pier, with immediate effect from this week. A coalition of campaigners are now pressing the government to go further, and actively encourage local highway authorities to implement measures that free up road space for pedestrians and cyclists.
Business Green 21st April 2020 read more »
BBC 20th April 2020 read more »
SCOTLAND should consider permanently allowing office workers to log on from home in an attempt to permanently improve air quality and save lives, politicians have said. The country’s four major cities have seen nitrogen dioxide levels plummet during the Covid-19 lockdown as commuter traffic has all but disappeared as workers, particularly those who would normally be travelling to offices work from home. But the gains in air quality are likely to only be temporary, as things stand – despite new research pointing to a small increase in long-term exposure to particulate matter (PM2.5) leading to substantial increases in Covid-19 death rates.
Herald 20th April 2020 read more »