Three temporary road closures for social distancing in Preston to be scrapped

Fishwick Parade was one of the roads to see a section shut for a temporary road closure Pic: Google
Fishwick Parade was one of the roads to see a section shut for a temporary road closure Pic: Google

Lancashire County Council is removing three temporary road closures following a review of their use.





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Sixteen pop–up cycle lanes and road closures were introduced this summer across Lancashire as an emergency response to COVID-19, helping people to cycle and walk to work, and ease the pressure on public transport services.

But, according to Lancashire County Council, monitoring has shown their use has fallen since the end of summer, and the onset of colder wet weather means they are unlikely to be popular in the winter months.

Read more: Pop-up cycle lane to be removed on A583 Riversway and Watery Lane

At the same time, there has been a significant increase in cars on the road, especially after schools and colleges restarted.

In September a pop-up cycle lane on Riversway in Preston was removed following low usage, and now the road closures at Frenchwood Avenue, Fishwick Parade and Fletcher Road in Preston will also be taken away.

Elsewhere in the county, pop-up cycle lanes and road closures are being assessed by the county council for their effectiveness, and will be removed unless there is evidence they are being well-used.

Read more: Preston’s streets to be made more accessible for the visually impaired

County Councillor Keith Iddon, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “When the lockdown was lifted in the summer, we needed to react quickly to allocate road space for people who wanted to cycle and walk whilst maintaining social distance.

“There had been an increase in cycling during lockdown and we received funding from the government for these temporary measures due to concerns that the restrictions on public transport meant there was a real need to provide capacity for people to travel in other ways.

“While some of these schemes have been popular, their use has fallen now the weather is changing.

“At the same time, we’ve seen a big increase in car use. As a result we are reviewing each temporary scheme and, where necessary, either adjusting the layout or removing them.

“We remain committed to improving our permanent cycling and walking infrastructure and building on the major investments that we’ve made in recent years.

“The approach to these schemes is very different in that we have more time to plan them, and ensure that they meet a demand which will continue in the long term.”

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