The DfT has published updated Network Management Duty guidance, accompanied by a letter to councils from Minister Chris Heaton-Harris. The overall effect is to tell local authorities to consult properly before removing any active travel schemes.

Local authorities are expected to take measures to reallocate road space to people walking and cycling. In Harrogate so far, the only measure taken is the modal filter on Beech Grove.

The focus should now be on devising further schemes and assessing COVID-19 schemes with a view to making them permanent. The assumption should be that they will be retained unless there is substantial evidence to the contrary. Authorities should also be considering how to introduce further active travel schemes, building on those already delivered.

DFT network management duty guidance

The guidance says there should be a step-change in the roll-out of measures to maintain a green recovery, including those in the table below.

MeasureHarrogate, North Yorkshire
Cycle facilities with physical separation from traffic (including light segregation with wands)None at all in Harrogate; none in the whole of North Yorkshire (except York) as far as we are aware
School StreetsNone at all in Harrogate
Reducing speed limits to 20mph in built-up areasNo new 20mph zones in Harrogate
Pedestrian- and cycle-only zones at certain or all timesNo new zones in Harrogate
Modal filtersBeech Grove (not yet confirmed as permanent by North Yorkshire)
Additional cycle parking at key locationsNo new cycle parking in Harrogate
Changes to junction designs to accommodate more cyclistsNo cycle-friendly changes to junctions in Harrogate
Whole route approaches to create corridors for buses and cycles on key routes into town centresNo whole route approaches
Bring forward schemes already plannedNo schemes brought forward

Local authorities should collect data to build a robust evidence base to make decisions.

Consultation and community engagement should always be undertaken whenever authorities propose to remove, modify or reduce existing schemes, including using professional polling. Consultations are not referendums, however; polling results are just one element of the evidence that should be used.

Engagement and consultation should consider all road users, but take account of the need to provide for increased walking and cycling.

Updated Network Management Duty Guidance

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