County Hall, Northallerton
County Hall, Northallerton

NYCC today issued a statement, with quotes from Director for Business and Environmental Services David Bowe.

The statement refers to Grant Shapps’ announcement about walking and cycling on 9th May. Mr Bowe says there may be an opportunity to introduce measures to assist social distancing; he also refers the Secretary of State’s announcements of funding for cycling.

‘As yet the Department for Transport has not communicated how the money will be distributed to Local Highway Authorities and whether or not there will be a bidding process.’

HDCA feels strongly that this is quite the wrong approach. This is a time for action, not temporising.

We are seeing people riding bikes in Harrogate District in greater numbers than ever before, and bikes being used for everyday journeys are locked outside people’s houses as if this were the Netherlands. We need to seize the moment, before traffic volumes increase and scare people on bikes off the roads again.

Now is the time to give people walking on pavements extra space too, so that they can follow the rules on social distancing.

There are examples of prompt action by local authorities around the world. Cycle lanes are being created quickly and cheaply – for example here in Dublin and here in Enfield.

Rather than discussing funding which may or may not be allocated in weeks or months, we would like to see cheap, temporary measures installed as soon as possible – ideally this week.

NYCC statement says little

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