Cyclists and pedestrians will be actively supported across Calderdale as the Council introduces new measures to encourage social distancing and sustainable travel.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and the Environment, Cllr Scott Patient said:
“During the lockdown our roads have been quieter and the air cleaner. Many more people have been enjoying walking and cycling when they take their daily exercise and I know many want to continue after the lockdown restrictions lift.
“There are clear physical and mental health benefits to cycling and walking as well as the benefits to air quality and our environment and this is reflected in Government policy, with the announcement of a £2 billion fund to support alternative ways to travel.
“This presents us with a real opportunity to respond to the climate emergency by doing things differently. Wherever possible we want to encourage people to consider active travel such as walking or cycling and when it is safe we’ll recommend the use of public transport to reduce local car usage.”
Pavements will be temporarily widened and marked out to encourage social distancing whilst maintaining accessibility and this may result in the suspension of some parking spaces. Any obstructions on the pavement, such as temporary signage, will be cleared to prevent bottlenecks.
Temporary cycleways will be created to improve the cycle network; and signage will be used to make sure motorists are aware that pedestrians and cyclists may be sharing the highway.
Since the end of March all Council-run car parks and on-street parking bays in Calderdale have been free to use, so key workers could continue their work to support the COVID-19 response without worrying about the charges and they will continue to be exempt.
Otherwise charges will now be reintroduced, with on-street parking charges applying from 1 June 2020 whilst charges at car parks will be reintroduced from 15 June 2020.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities, Cllr Susan Press said:
“Throughout the lockdown our priority has been to support our key workers, so we were one of the councils which decided to suspend parking charges to help them during this very difficult time.
“Key workers will continue to be supported through employer permit schemes, but as more drivers are returning to the roads, we now need to manage our on street parking properly, to avoid traffic congestion and ensure that drivers can quickly find a space.”
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Resources, Cllr Jane Scullion said:
“Helping our towns to recover from the impact of COVID-19 will be a priority over the next 12 months. This means supporting our local economy by providing good quality, convenient and affordable parking and by ensuring a good turnover of spaces to encourage visitors and shoppers.
“However, we must acknowledge that people want more choice over how they travel around the borough. Whether it’s to do the family shop, to walk the kids to school or cycle for pleasure or for the daily commute we want everyone to feel able to safely choose the option which suits them best.
“Any income which the Council raises from parking charges will be reinvested in these local highway and transport initiatives.”